Springtime visitors to Benmore will be met with a blaze of colour as one of the world's finest collections of rhododendrons put on the most spectacular display. The Garden has about 300 species of rhododendron, 100 subspecies and varieties and over 300 cultivars. Aromatic foliage is another bonus in rhododendrons which can come as something of a pleasant surprise to the uninitiated.
Against the dark evergreen backdrop of the conifer and rhododendron collections, there is a succession of ephemeral blossoms and delicate new leaves in spring as other kinds of trees and shrubs stir from winter hibernation.
First to flower are the witch hazels beside the Younger Memorial Walk. Closely related to the witch hazels is Fothergilla major from the Allegheny Mountains in the eastern USA.
Camellias behind Benmore House now come alive and Pieris, a distant relative of the rhododendrons, also add a splash of colour at various points in the Garden.
Most of the magnolia collection can be found between the Viewpoint and the Golden Gates.