With a design based on the microscopic leaf structure of native beech (Fagus sylvatica) ash (Fraxinus excelsior) and oak (Quercus robur), the lower terrace places a 21st century twist on the traditional parterre. The compartments are planted out with approximately 5000 tulips (Tulipa spp.) in autumn every year, with the resulting spring display typically featuring 12 or so varieties. Following the lifting of bulbs in early summer, bedding plants are planted into the compartments to make a display for the remainder of the season.
Although colour schemes for the bedding display may vary between years, plant selection relies on the use of certain key genera such as ornamental Brassica spp., Diascia spp., Heliotropium spp. and Rudbeckia spp. Against the southern wall, there is a late summer border featuring cultivars of Aconitum carmichaelii, Anemone spp. Aster spp. and Veronicastrum spp. These flowering perennials complement the bright colours of the summer bedding display whilst softening the parterre