Mansion Pond and Spring Border
Did you know?
- The swamp cypress is a native of southern USA and is best known from the Everglades of Florida. However, evidence of its presence during prehistoric times has been found near Bournemouth, proving it was once indigenous to the British Isles. In modern times, the species was introduced to Britain in 1640 by the plant hunter John Tradescant the Younger.
- Wakehurst has several water features including the Bog Garden, Iris Dell, Slips and Water Gardens. When the old South Drive Pond, near the schools entrance, was being cleared in 2009, staff found several war relics in the silt. They included metal tank tracks, a propellor and bullets.
The pond lies a short way southeast of the Mansion, reflecting the 400-year old sandstone building. Planted with waterlilies, and inhabited by mallards and moorhens, it features a central island on which an elegant swamp cypress (Taxodium distichum) stands. Rhododendrons and magnolias provide springtime colour, while pampas grasses at the northern end add year-round texture.
Things to look out for
Also at the northern end of the pond are several mature Japanese maples, whose leaves glow gold, orange, crimson and deep red in Autumn. These pre-date Kew’s involvement on the estate, and were probably planted by former owner Lady Price. The Spring Border is a recent addition to the pond, planted to provide early seasonal colour as well as to enhance safety for visitors around the pond. From March until late May this border displays a wealth of interesting bulbs, herbaceous perennials and shrubs. These include forsythia, flowering currant (Ribes) and Exochorda x macrantha 'The Bride' with its flamboyant white flowers, also seen in the Slips. The lawn south of the Mansion, next to the Pond, is planted with thousands of naturalised narcissi, adding to the spring spectacular at Wakehurst.