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A chilly start

A Pink Rhododendron arboreum hybrid

It’s been a long wait this year but at last we have Rhododendrons, Magnolias and Camellias in full flower now. I feel we are behind two weeks on last year. With so many plants being held back with the cool temperatures there is going to be a super color burst in May. We are not the only garden to be held back this year. Kew gardens held a meeting for the “International Magnolia Society” recently with guests arriving from all over the world to come and see Kew’s Magnolia display, which unfortunately was not performing on time this year. Some plants benefit from a long cool dormancy, in particular I have noticed an abundance of wild Primulas in hedge rows, lawns and waste land, all flowering superbly. Our Daphne’s flowering period has been at least two months this year as the cold has kept the flowers going from strength to strength.

New plants are arriving from nursery orders taken last year for various planting projects and gap filling, and cuttings are rooted and being potted up. Surprisingly we have not lost that many plants this winter as it has not been extreme winter weather, just a long cool period. Plants like the “Cycad” or Sago Palm Cycas revoluta has survived outside for several years now, even succulents like Aloe arborescens have pulled through all be it a little rough around the edges. But then we all are after the winter  – bring on the sun !!


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