Favourites from the Royal Pavilion Gardens – Myrtus communis, True Myrtle

One unsung element of Regency garden style, as seen at the Royal Pavilion, is the use of different greens. The evergreen envelope acts as a foil for the more showy, or even to modern eyes, gaudy colours of the flowering plants.

Myrtus communis, or True Myrtle
Myrtus communis, or True Myrtle

Some evergreens do of course flower. Our evergreen plant of choice at the moment is Myrtus communis, or True Myrtle. The two shrubs in the garden are currently smothered in gorgeous fragrant flowers.

Each one has a base of pure white petals and a boss of white, pollen tipped, stamens. The whole effect is deliciously fluffy, and really very lovely. These flowers were famously used in Queen Victoria’s wedding bouquet. Originally from the Mediterranean and North Africa the plant is a source of essential oil – gently fold a leaf and the released fragrance is quite pungent.

If you walk along the perimeter walk from the William IV gate to the north, towards the east front of the Pavilion you can’t miss the best of the two specimen shrubs (and will also see the surprising ‘vanishing trick’ where the building suddenly disappears in the shrubbery). The second can be found close to the Lily pond further along this path.

Myrtus communis, or True Myrtle
Myrtus communis, or True Myrtle

In the Autumn the flowers are followed by glossy blue-black berries, which the birds love. We follow an organic policy in the Gardens and Myrtle is as insect- and bird-friendly as possible.

Do drop by and revel in this small wonder.

Volunteer Gardener, Royal Pavilion Gardens

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