Today sees the launch of the Queen Mother Memorial Garden souvenir guide. The garden, designed, constructed and planted in 2004/05 and opened to the public in 2006 is now maturing and this booklet reflects that maturity and a continuing interest in the planting, the architecture, the inscriptions and overall design. The booklet is available at the garden shop and at the gates for a price of £6.00.
The plant selection through the garden reflects the countries and continents the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother travelled to. Representing the Southern Hemisphere the delicate yellow flowers of Azara microphylla are produced in profusion. The glossy green evergreen foliage may to an extent hide these but nothing can diminish the scent. Wait for a calm warm day and the aroma of hot chocolate will fill this north east corner. You may detect an underlying hint of vanilla or honey depending on your olfactory prowess.
A. microphylla is native to Chile where it can be found as an understory to Nothofagus obliqua growing in disturbed roadside vegetation in the southern part of the country at c. 700m. Developing as a tree to eight metres. Here it appreciates shelter from cold wind and is often a multi branched plant.
Cold spring – hot chocolate was originally published on Botanics Stories