April news from the garden

With the cold weather hopefully behind us, now is a good time to come and explore the garden, while here we share details of some of our most interesting plants

The white flowered Magnolia x veitchii ‘Isca’ as you enter the Garden stands out this time of year and should now be in flower; it is under planted with Narcissus ‘Pepper’, which was bred here in Cornwall.

The Camellia Garden comprises of more than 300 species and particularly the Camellia ‘Cornish Snow’ has been in flower for nearly two months and is now at its peak.

Further clearance around the Tree Fern Pit has now opened up better views from the South looking North across the ferns. The two large trees within the Fern Pit are Magnolia dawsonia and Magnolie sargentiana var. robusta, both of which are ‘Champion Trees’ and therefore the largest of their kind in the British Isles.

The Daffodils on the Top Lawn were planted during the Second World War; at that time arable fields used for ornamental crops were ‘grubbed out’ to grow food crops and these bulbs were saved from one of those fields. They were most likely planted in rows to save time on labour.

The Palm tree found in the Higher Garden is a Butia capitate or ‘Jelly Palm’ and it is unusual to find one this old or large growing outside on mainland UK. The holes in the stem are the result in frost damage over the years, although none of the existing holes have occurred recently.

By the Pond Garden the leaves of the Gunnera manicata or ‘Giant Rhubarb’ are just starting to emerge – it hails from the southern regions of South America and isn’t actually related to Rhubarbs at all!

Across the pond at this time of year you can get a clear view of our largest Champion Magnolia Tree Magnolia x veitchii ‘Peter Veitch’, which is now in flower.

At the base of another of our Magnolia trees (Magnolia hypoleuca) in the North walk are Anemone nemorosa ‘Alba Plena’, which is a dainty plant related to our common Buttercup.

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