The Marks Hall collection is planted on a geographical theme, with plants from the temperate regions of the world grouped together.  There are areas representing Europe, Asia, North America and the Southern Hemisphere, set in more than 200 acres of historic landscape providing interest and enjoyment throughout the year.

The European Section

At the entrance to the Arboretum is the European Section, which was designed to blend with the natural countryside extending beyond the deer fence.  The striking bridge beyond the Kiosk is your gateway to the Arboretum and the easily accessible network of hard and grass paths for you to explore.

Gondwanaland

This was the ancient super continent that formed the evolutionary cradle for the vegetation of South America, the Indian Subcontinents and Australasia.

At Marks Hall we have developed the area of Gondwanaland for Southern Hemisphere species.  It is situated in an area that was devastated by the 1987 hurricane. It is an undulating landscape of low mounds, which are sheltered on the western edge by the planting of Nothofagus (southern beech). Since the start of development in 1999, 200 Eucalyptus trees have been planted and on warm days the oil aroma provides a heady scent.

Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis) are an important feature, here at Marks Hall we believe we have the largest collection in Europe. With less than 100 trees known to exist in the wild it is now the focus of extensive research to safeguard its survival. In addition to the Wollemi Pine, there is also an experimental planting of Cordyline australis, the Cabbage Palm, Agapanthus and Cortaderia richardii New Zealand Pampas.

North America

The Memorial Site is situated in the North America zone of the Arboretum.

The planting here is representative of east North American woodland edge.  It is particularly striking in Autumn as most of these trees colour beautifully.  Early in the season the two species of Sumach and the Acer Rubrum are the stars, followed by the red oaks and the liquidambars.

Don’t miss the Liquidambar styraciflua, a large graceful tree with maple like leaves. It comes from eastern North America and gives reliable long lasting colour. The Acer conspicum ‘Phoenix’ has a snake bark maple with clear yellow colour and shoots which turn coral pink with white stripes.

The North America section also includes the Taxodium Swamp. Inspired by the Florida Everglades this area has been created to provide ideal conditions for the swamp cypress to thrive, and provides the perfect habitat to support newts, frogs, toads and the rare hairy dragonfly.

The Birkett Long Millennium Walk

This much photographed garden is located within the Asian section of the Arboretum and has been planted with autumn, winter and early spring in mind. The brightly coloured stems of the Dogwood and Rubus provide spectacular reflections in the lake. The Sarcococca (Christmas Box) combined with the Chimonanthus (Wintersweet) provide a spicy sweet scent that complement the bold contrasts in colour.

It is worth returning to visit Marks Hall throughout the year as it is stunning in every season. You might like to consider supporting the work we do to protect this heritage landscape by becoming a member. We hope to welcome you back here very soon.