Growing interest in Sidmouth arboretum scheme

Popular Tree of Week turns up unusual shrubs in Sidmouth

THERE has been an excellent response to our TREE OF THE WEEK corner.

Diana East, on behalf of the civic arboretum project, has heard from lots of people, more than she has been able to visit so far, but this work will continue during the winter.

Diana writes: One of the most important aspects has been to identify shrubs and trees growing in private gardens.

Peter Griffiths, a long time resident of Cotmaton Road, shares what was probably the kitchen garden of Sidmouth House. He works tirelessly in his garden, which boasts an ancient copper beech and a magnificent five- thuja.

Peter has a most unusual unidentified shrub, with yellow variegated leaves. It is probably an elderberry, though very different from the hedgerow types.

Another identification riddle arose at the Sidlands garden of newcomer Mrs Rosemary Aldridge, which was open to the public last summer.

Most Read

Rosemary inherited an interesting selection of mature shrubs – a tall pittorsporum, a leaning Judas tree , a variety of camellias, rhododendrons, acers, and hollies.

Also a magnificent wisteria which entwines itself along a whole hedgerow.

The riddle was a 23-foot tall single stem plant, apparently a tree. Until the surrounding vegetation was cut down recently it was all but hidden. Now with additional sunlight it has sprung up shoots from the base and after a bit of consultation with the books, we decided it is a eucryphia.

Usually grown as an evergreen shrub, it is summer flowering and likes a bit of shade.

Is it a Sidmouth champion? Does anyone else have an old eucryphia in their garden?

If you have shrubs or trees in your garden that you are curious to know more about, the arboretum database is growing and we would like to hear from you.

Contact Diana East (05603) 278 602 or email