The sun has come out and the weather has warmed up – and most importantly, the spring colour has bounced into life! The colour doesn’t take long to spot once you’ve entered the Old Arboretum via the top entrance by the Great Oak Hall. A few of today’s favourite examples are below – with large images so that you can enjoy them as much as I have done!
Two camellias first greet you as you enter the Old Arboretum – Camellia x williamsii ‘Bow Bells’ and Camellia Japonica ‘Adolphe Audusson’. Camellia x williamsii ‘Bow Bells’ is one of the earlier specimens to flower in spring and produces single pink flowers amongst its dark green foliage. Camellia Japonica ‘Adolphe Audusson’ is a large shrub with rich red flowers and yellow stamens.
You can’t miss the next example of spring colour – and one we’ve already dedicated a separate blog post to – the Magnolia sprengeri ‘Diva’. This specimen is 24 metres tall and a ‘Champion’, which means it’s the largest of its kind in the UK (as measured by the Tree Register of the British Isles).
Continue on a loop around Circular Drive and you’ll come across more magnolias bouncing into bloom with the warmth. This Magnolia kobus, also known as the Northern Japanese magnolia, has beautifully fragrant white flowers and slender petals.
On and off the path on Circular Drive there are also some great examples of Westonbirt’s rhododendrons in bloom, with many to follow as we approach the peak flowering season in May.
The small Rhododendron ‘Crossbill’ has pretty orange-tinged flowers and looks great with the towering Magnolia sprengeri in the background. Wander from the path to really appreciate this specimen close-up.
And finally, two more rhododendrons to take in on this short but flower filled route: Rhododendon basilicum, with its large showy leaves and creamy white flowers and Rhododendron phaeochrysum v. agglutinatum.
You can find out more about these beautiful trees and other spring blooms at www.forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt-spring.
Don’t forget – you can visit for half price on Wednesdays in April and May with our ‘Westonbirt Wednesdays’ offer!