and primroses and rhododendrons. Yes, even yellow rhododendrons are in flower in the Gardens. We expect rhododendrons to be white, pink, red and purple but we have yellow ones in flower in the Wilderness Gardens. There are other early rhododendrons in flower, along with the first of the magnolias, Magnolia campbellii, a large tree with blooms of beautiful deep pink. Look out for a couple of these near the folly, Stainborough Castle, then wander through to the Fernery & Stumpery where some of the camellias are in bud. The camellias at the back of the Azalea Gardens are now in full bloom, with both double and single flowers on show.
In the Victorian Flower Garden, the spring bedding also shows off the golden heads of miniature daffodils, mixed with white and red primroses, and blue hyacinths. The garden team have cut back the rhododendrons on one side to allow more light to the rose bushes planted there, including some transplanted from the Union Jack Garden. This should mean a wonderful show of roses this summer, weather permitting.
Next to Lady Lucy’s Walk, the hellebore flowers act as their own contrast, with shades ranging from the deepest purple, through pink to white, with both plain and spotted petals. They deserve to be looked at closely as they are all slightly different.The young maple trees there are showing a haze of new leaves; when the sun shines through them, they look almost bronze in colour.
It’s amazing how quickly the Gardens change at this time of year, it seems that it was only a couple of weeks ago that the snowdrops were pushing above ground, and now the daffodils are in full flower, with early rhododendrons also a blaze of colour. Next month, the Azalea Garden should be at its best; the plants seem to get bigger and better each year, with an even stronger perfume.
Looking out from Archer’s Gate and Earl’s Seat, the sheep are grazing in the fields. Have the lambs arrived yet? You’ll have to come and find out.