Strelitzia a tropical perennial plant native to South Africa is often referred to as ‘Bird of Paradise’ because its flower resembles the distinctive crest associated with the exotic bird of that same name.

In 2023 a volunteer at Gordon Castle Walled garden donated a large Strelitzia plant grown from seed sourced on a tour of the botanic gardens in Puerto de la Cruz, the capital of Tenerife, during a holiday on the island in 1982!

Only one seed germinated growing in abundant leaf but not in flower! Last year the Bird of paradise had outgrown its suburban home, so a new roost was prepared for the giant in a green house at Gordon Castle Walled Garden.

Re-potted and re-homed all was set fair for a result!! The new premises were obviously to its liking for after 42 years a flower has appeared at last!!

Ed Bollom, the Head Gardener, reckons that increased light and warmth has triggered the dormant plant into flowering mode. One flower already with more on the way, we hope, so watch this space or should I say greenhouse!!

Furthermore tulips galore are bursting into bloom all over the garden as the days lengthen and temperatures rise.

No need to travel to Amsterdam! A drive to Fochabers will suffice for thousands of tulips so painstakingly planted during colder days are set to fill the garden with a spectacular welcome.


Kindly written by Liz Ashworth for Gordon Castle Walled Garden.

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