Below the rock on which the Strauss monument stands proud, the Astilbe Garden is laid out along a dreamy path. With rhododendrons, dark-leaved trees and conifers, it forms an interesting transition to the ruggedly romantic Lower East Garden. Astilbes, sometimes known as false goat's beard, unfurl their delightful charm during summer in a myriad of hues and forms. With fine shades ranging from white to pink to dark reddish purple, the 35 well-known species and varieties of this showy plant display tens of thousands of feathery panicles. Astilbes thrive particularly well in the partial shade beneath the large trees and spread to form ground cover. Along with other shrubs such as aconite, astilbe 'Purpurlanze', ferns and grasses, they can be seen here in all their glory.
Astilbes are native to the mountain forest regions of China and Japan where they have adapted to the cool, moist summers. In Europe, they are mainly found in the wetlands of north-western Germany, in the shadow of low mountain ranges and in the Alps.