Asobserved during March 2011
Scopolia carniolica var. carniolica a member of the Solanaceae family and found throughout Europe. Lush foliage sprouts rapidly from the rhizomes as soil temperature rises and days lengthen in March. Deep purple or almost brown flowers emerge draped on long stalks from the leaf axils of the herbaceous growth.
Medicinally it has a sedative effect and was used by early surgeons to anaesthetise patients. It has also been used in “truth serums” by secret agents to extract information from other spies.
Sweet scents from Slovenia
Terminal sulphur yellow flower buds turn frosty white as they open up. Under a hand lens the crinkly iced surface of the corolla tube is evident. Enclosed within are the flower parts, anthers, laden with pollen are held at two stages within the tube. Whereas the stigma is buried deep at the base of the corolla. A reliable plant to flower when in a well drained alkaline soil in partial shade.
A native of the Balkans where, legend has it, Count Blagay was instrumental in the naming of this then new species, in Slovenia in 1837.
This wide branched small tree has deeply veined foliage, bronze brown from a distance. Closer to; the red shades are more in evidence. Towards the tip the leaves are serrated. As maturity approaches the colour turns to green and the tree merges into the landscape. Enjoy this plant at an early stage of development.
Held within the expanding vegetation are the flowers cupped by the expanding leaves. The bud soon develops and a mass of individual small white flowers make up the inflorescence.
A native of Hubei Province in China where it grows as part of the forest cover in mountain regions at 600 – 1200 metres.
It is evident spring has arrived and settled in when the Rhododendron collection rewards us with masses of colour. Many of the species are now blooming profusely through the wooded areas of the Garden.
Rhododendron uvarifolium var. griseum, buds opening out to reveal a collection of white bloom with blush pink markings. The species has a wide geographical and altitudinal range through the Chinese Himalayas.
Rhododendron faucium, From the high slopes of Northern China and India at 2600 – 3400 metres. Prominent flower parts extend from the mouth of the deeply pink coloured corolla.
Rhododendron ririei A sturdy multibranched evergreen which will mature into a small tree in its native Sichuan Province, China. Growing on hillsides at 1700 - 1800metres. Now covered by purple red flowers with dark nectar pouches at the base of the corolla. When covered in the statuesque buds the plant is at its most attractive, the brown scales contrast well with the tight buds deeply coloured.
Add the Praecox hedge (Rhododendron praecox grex), Forsythia, spring bulbs, a ground flora of emerging herbaceous foliage of all shades and textures and you have a garden that is awakening and well worth a visit.
The Crocus are coming.
The “Spring Crocus” is a lilac shade of purple with prominent orange stigma and yellow anthers rising from the perianth tube. A touch of sun splays the petals wide open and a gradual bleaching of colour occurs, emphasising the darker lilac marking at the tip of the petal.
Growing through the mountains of central and Western Europe up to 2500 metres.
On days when the sun does shine it is at a low angle in the sky. In the attached image it highlights the flaking, peeling bark of Betula utilis. Like liquid golden syrup held in suspension the sun shines through these paper thin layers of bark.
As observed during March 2010
When will this winter end? At least March has started settled and suddenly the mornings are much lighter. One of the better things to come from these extended periods of snow and frost is the added dimension it gives to the plant form. The frosted beauty on the common green leaf and deciduous branch networks means the later appearance of the spring bulbs is not too depressing. Who could fail to be impressed by the sight of massed Silver Birch, Betula pendula covered in frozen ice crystals glinting in the sun?
Cotoneaster cashmiriensis was collected in North West India. Found colonising a large boulder by the Ravi River at 2286metres in the Western Himalayas. A prostrate habit which can mound in a garden situation with more fertile soil. Growing in the rock garden and covering a good square metre. A few of the sub globose red berries remain attached.
A spring bouquet
Quite refreshing to appreciate a week of settled weather since the turn of the month. This bright sun has brought glasshouse temperatures into double figures and pushed on the Alpine house display. A week may be a long time in politics; in the garden at this time of year a week will see significant change. Step out and take time to walk around ours. Appreciate the increased heat from the sun and the appearance of green shoots. The Crocus cultivars on the grass banks are even showing colour.
The attached image shows the range of spring bulbs presently in flower in the Alpine House, Crocus, Narcissus, Cyclamen, Merendera, Galanthus and Sternbergia species.
To compliment the living collection the Library team have set out their own spring bouquet in the display case at reception. These images of wild and garden plants from across the centuries have been chosen from books and artwork held in the library and archives. Well worth a look - on a wet day of course!
Two early Juno's
Juno Iris are a sub group within the genus Iris. The Juno's form the largest group of those Iris with a fleshy bulbous base. Demanding free draining compost they are adverse to overhead watering as moisture may collect within the leaves leading to rot.
These are two of the earliest to flower, both growing in covered bulb frames within the alpine area.
Iris rosenbachiana; Native to Central Asia. Light purple in flower with prominent raised butter yellow markings leading back into the throat of the bloom. The flower, reaching 100mm in height has a deep sweet scent. Strong leaf growth is beginning to appear and expand.
Iris stenophylla ssp. allisonii from a warm Mediterranean climate and flowering exceptionally well in the alpine house. Found growing in the West Taurus Mountains near Gundogmus. This is a blue beauty, made more so with exceptional markings on the petals.
Tucked away in the back of a border is this late spring flowering evergreen. It appreciates the shady south westerly aspect corner bounded by two walls and overshadowed by a Davidia canopy. This situation may go some way to replicate conditions found in the temperate rainforests of Tasmania and S.E. Australia where it thrives.
Atherosperma moschatum has spiky holly like leaves with a pale grey reverse, more noticeable on younger leaves. From straight multi stemmed trunks a wide, open canopy forms. The wood and foliage when bruised has an aromatic smell, it has been widely used for carving and often to make clothes pegs. Well, the idea for scented drawer liners had to originate somewhere. Flowers develop slowly from late autumn, finally opening in March. These are held facing downwards at the tips of last season's growth to protect the buds from damage by rainfall. These are covered in minute hairs; on opening the white tepals scent of nutmeg.
Strawberries in baskets; potatoes in pots.
All four of the Gardens will be open for the Easter weekend. Logan, Benmore, Dawyck and the RBGE. Visit one or more and enjoy the plant collection, look out for new plants you can try in your own garden.
This weekend also spend time in your own garden. Now is the time to pot a few strawberry runners. Placed in the greenhouse they will flower and fruit ready for you to pick during Wimbledon week. Alternatively you could try planting up a hanging basket, just remember to water well.
If you have room for a large pot try setting a few chitted potatoes in a bed of soil or compost. When planting, rub out the weakest sprouts, leaving three shoots to grow. As the leafy growth extends add more compost around the stems. This encourages rooting into a fresh layer and the production of more new potatoes on these roots. Traditionally, potatoes are grown in mounded furrows. During the growing season the farmer or grower will mound up the crop to achieve the same effect. That is, more potatoes to dig.
The soil is beginning to warm up after the coldest winter since that of 1962 / 63. Now is the time to open the tool shed door and reawaken your growing skills. Mowing and edging the lawn will be a quick win in the race to tidy your green space. Don't over do it on the first day in the garden; muscles will ache and backs will be sore.
As observed during March 2009
A sea of blue.
The sun has been more in evidence during the past week. This has boosted the appearance of the spring bulbs.
In the rock garden Iris histrioides has taken full advantage of this increase in temperature and light level to put on an outstanding show of bloom. A member of the Reticulata group of Iris the uniformity of colour, shape and form give this plant an enthusiastic following and stunning reviews.
The rich blue is complemented by yellow marking on the falls. A native to Northern Turkey where it grows on mountainsides at c.1500m.
Also in full bloom is Iris 'Katherine Hodgkin', whose flower colour is more of an acquired taste. Very much influenced by the quality of light, it can be seen one day, disliked and dismissed. Yet on a second sighting in a different light will be appreciated as a well selected cultivar of I. winogradowii. An unusual colour to describe, a grey-yellow with distinctive mottling. I believe the larger the group the more acceptable the colour is. I would advise against planting only a few.
The true species I. winogradowii is planted nearby, as yet in tight bud just showing yellow. Found in the Caucasus Mountains it hybridises readily with I. histrioides and the above cultivar is the result of a liaison between the two.
Raised by E.B.Anderson (1895 - 1971) a past president of the Alpine Garden Society at his garden in Lower Slaughter, deepest Gloucestershire in the early 1960's. He named it after the wife of a friend; Eliot Hodgkin. Foliage in both species is held below the flowers which reach c.150mm.
A diminutive delight
The family Umbelliferae is more frequently known for its large stature members.
Hacquetia epipactis turns that view on its head. Found growing in woodland through Europe as a herbaceous clump. It has a terminal inflorescence that expands to cover the leaf growth below it. The beauty is in the multitude of yellow stamens.
Sporadic white tipped stigmas are seen protruding through the inflorescence. The green bracts that ring the reproductive floral parts are often thought to be leaves, however the true leaves will follow in a week or two as the flowers fade.
The Lanigerum legend
A story of beauty, tempestuous weather and tragedy. All in a season's growth for an otherwise hardy stalwart of the living plant collection.
Rhododendron lanigerum (see 2/2/2009 for original information) has developed to flowering stage from this previous description. In the intervening six weeks winter occurred in Edinburgh. Snow storms on the 8th February combined with below zero temperatures capped the buds to resemble the best vanilla ice cream cone. These low temperatures held the development of the buds. The protective brown scales cocooning the petals from the ravages of the weather.
Temperatures rose in the second half of the month leading to bud burst and colour.
The destruction came with the appearance of the early morning sun. Freezing overnight temperatures on Thursday 5 March and the appearance of bright early morning sun on Friday 6 caused cells to rupture and colour to be drained from the petals before they could thaw slowly. Strange that having waited so long to feel the heat from the sun it should be the destructive element that causes damage with the result that the petals go to mush.
Lessons to be learnt from this saga? Don't count your blossom until your buds have burst......and even then our temperate maritime climate may still throw in a surprise.
South America to a south wall
Campsidium valdivianum is a weak woody climber with us, in its native Chile it grows to 15 metres. Found at low altitudes 500m - 2000m in interior valleys and on the coastal mountains. Seed was collected from plants growing on the margin of remnant forest in the Los Lagos region of southern Chile.
A bright, stunning colour that catches the eye. The white anthers grouped just proud of the corolla which splays into five flattened petals. On cutting open the corolla the filaments, loaded with tension, spring out relieved to be free of the constraining tube. Ants are attracted to the flowers by the nectar and often bore hole damage can be seen.
Twisting in anticlockwise spirals around a supporting plant gaining height to reach the light. The pinnate leaves usually comprise five pairs with one at the terminal. The midrib is prominent and indented on the upper surface giving a precise division of two halves.
Hammered steel, reflected glory
Crafted from steel in the heat of a forge the gates at the top of the east drive are best appreciated when the early morning sun is reflecting off the bright steel from which they were skilfully crafted.
Look at the detail in the leaf and admire the leaf trusses with flower bud. From the workshop of blacksmith Alan Dawson. Commissioned by the Friends of the Garden, installed in 1996.
From here take a walk to the copse; appreciate the real thing. A magnificent towering mature Rhododendron calophytum var. calophytum is in full bloom. Collected by Ernest Wilson in the mountains of Sichuan Province, China at c.3000m.
The flower trusses are covering the plant white petals, pink rib and a mottled interior. The prominent and dominant style completes the floral picture.
Planting for the future
The front lawn now boasts three young plants of Cedrus libanii. Those that know the Garden will remember the magnificent, mature C. libanii that took centre stage in this lawn with its horizontal, table top appearance.
Overnight storms on 27 February 2001 contributed to its loss. During previous decades it had been rod and cable braced to provide a cohesive integrity to the branch structure. Having cleared the site and excavated the root we left the area to settle.
The past week has seen replanting of wild source material. Seed collected as part of the Turkey Darwin Initiative in Central Anatolia has now grown into vigorous seedlings. The seed was collected from trees growing amongst other conifers, Abies, Juniperus, and Cedrus on steep rocky limestone slopes c.1428m.
The original tree was c.175 years old (from a ring count) making it one of the early plantings when the Garden relocated to this, the Inverleith site, from Leith Walk in 1820-23.
Planting of these three specimens is planting for future generations. A plant of C. deodara grown from seed collected in 1985 from Himachal Pradesh, India and planted on Logans border is now a tree with stature. That is 23 years from seedling through sapling to prominent plant.
Every action has a consequence though; in this instance with the additional planting mowing the front lawns with precision stripes will be a little difficult.
Native to Japan and suited to the borders of all gardens, Magnolia stellata is the representative of this genus to cultivate where space limits the height and spread of other Magnolias. Where to plant? Choose a position where soil disturbance will be minimal and the need to prune non existent.
Felty brown buds split apart and with developing growth delicate pink buds emerge to the spring light. On expanding these loose the pink blemish becoming pure white, flimsy and unfortunately easily marked by heavy rain or a frost. Not reasons to deter you from planting this multi branched small tree often thought of as a large shrub.
Collections from Japan are at seedling stage in the nursery. Collected in 2005 from plants in Gifu Prefecture, at the southern extent of its range. The mother plant was growing to 10m x 10m in a damp flat south facing valley. Found in a mixed species hedge bounding fields, companion plants; Hydrangea paniculata, Ilex serrata. Here flower colour ranged from pink to white.
As observed during March 2008
New life after a harsh winter
After the ravages of winter and the alternating low and rising temperatures, growth is now beginning to move on plants. In the borders, damage on overwintered growth is showing as discolouration on the exposed foliage, most prominently where early morning sun has caught a frosted corner. The fast thaw of the sap within the plant tissue expanding on thawing causes cell walls to rupture, and so tissue damage occurs. This image shows frost damage on the evergreen foliage of Magnolia grandiflora - on mature plants of this size the damage is disfiguring but not fatal.
In woody plants where you suspect there may be no life, you can detect signs of life by scraping at the bark layer with a thumb nail. Where there is a sign of green colouration beneath the scraped bark, there is hope of bud burst. Never be too impatient to rip out plants.
Plants with silver / grey leaves or those with hairy leaves have experienced a bitter winter through excessive rainfall with freezing and thawing temperatures. Leaf rot on these plants will be the least of our problems this spring; basal and crown rotting will be severe. The benefit of a free-draining root zone for this group of plants is evident.
The 19th and early 20th century were the glory days of plant collecting. New plants were flooding into the country. The recipients of these highly valued specimens were not sure of their hardiness, so initially consigned them to stove houses. As knowledge of these developed, many were moved to sheltered aspects within gardens and estates. We now have a greater awareness of the hardiness of many plants and the ability to select from clones known to survive our winter conditions.
Hardiness zones were developed to help predict where a plant may reasonably be expected to survive a minimum temperature. The USDA system is well used in America, from Alaska to Hawaii. In Britain the RHS and the European Garden Flora developed two different zoning systems. However, they are only guidelines as to where in the country a plant will survive, be it outdoors or with protection.
They give a guideline as to the minimum temperature plants will experience in a set zone. Other factors will play a part in a plant's winter hardiness: microclimate, where the plant was collected, altitude or geographical variation of type, soil (whether well drained or heavy and waterlogged) and plant association.
Thinking back to the severe winters experienced during my lifetime, the deep snow of Christmas 1962 and January 1963 was enjoyable. The snow blanketed plants in an insulating layer during the long winter of sub-zero temperatures. At the time, the container plant industry had not evolved. Plants which had proved themselves hardy in the locality were obtained as cuttings, divisions or seed from family, friends and neighbours. Nurseries sold plants bare-root, with autumn as the preferred season for planting.
The winters of 1978 - 79 and 1981 - 82 also highlighted the benefit of good plant selection. By this time, containerisation and the garden centre industry were well developed. With a ready supply of container plants, the planting season extended the year through, with spring most popular. Many southern hemisphere plants succumbed during these two winters... and will again due to this winter's harsh weather. We can hope for a traditional spring of sunshine and showers with no late frosts to boost plants into life and encourage growth.
Two select members of the Ericaceae family that we continue to provide protection for are presenting flowers now.
Epigaea gaultherioides is native to temperate South-West Asia. This shallow-rooting member of Ericaceae is found colonising the corner of a shaded north-facing frame adjacent to the Alpine House, where it appreciates a well-drained, cool root run. To flower successfully, it needs protection from the severe cold of the winter, but ironically must experience a cold spell to initiate flowering.
From Equatorial Ecuador at 2000+ metres we grow Cavendishia grandiflora. Collected on the old road from Quito Santo Domigo in the Pichincha province, the terminal flowers hang down, reminiscent of a scene in a dairy farm milking parlour. It is potted in an open bark mix, growing in the back-up glasshouses where the night minimum temperature is 10oc or above.
The colour of spring - Forsythia
This is a plant everyone is aware of - in the gardens of suburbia, filling borders in country gardens, competing well in mixed hedgerows, this bright yellow unruly shrub spills into colour in every municipal park throughout Britain.
What makes Forsythia so popular? It is tolerant of all soils and conditions, but prefers full sun to shade and loves neglect; in fact when left alone to become a conglomerate of twigs, the plant becomes an ideal nesting site for the bird population. It roots easily as softwood, semi ripe and hardwood cuttings.
The genus was named after William Forsyth, a Scot, credited with constructing the first rock garden in England and a founder member of the RHS.
The F. x intermedia hybrid has many named cultivars 'Lynwood' and 'Spectabilis' being the most popular. These are selected crosses between F. suspensa and F.viridissima. Established specimens of both these cultivars are growing near the North Gate.
There is a collection of species and other cultivars growing in the south-west corner of the Garden, where the minute differences in colour and flower form can be observed, compared and contrasted. Observe, for example, an original Reginald Farrer collection from 1930, F. giraldiana, with prominent pin-like stigma and style. In contrast the cultivars have prominent anthers. In all of them, last season's growth is covered in pointed flower buds encased by fresh green sepals.
Little and large
Rhododendron praevurnum is a huge evergreen species reaching 4 metres across and 3 metres high and is characterised by the distinctive blotch of wine-red colour on the inner corolla at its upper base. Bud development is deep pink on development, opening and ageing with style to a shade of white.
The flower bud formation is quite regal in the way it develops and expands throughout late February, providing the best show of flowers during mid-March.
This rhododendron is native to Central China, notably the provinces of Szechuan and Hupeh, from where it was introduced to Britain in the late 1800's.
The RHS give this species a zone 7 marking in terms of hardiness zones, which relates to the USDA plant hardiness mapping. In Britain, this species will survive where the average minimum annual temperature is down to -12.3 to -17.8 degrees Celsius. Although fully hardy, the flowers can be devastated by early sun after an overnight frost.
As a contrast, the alpine trough to the west of the Temperate Palm House is home to a miniature floriferous power pack. Saxifraga oppositifolia was collected in eastern Greenland by George Argent in 1974. Deep purple petals open and fade almost to white. Its dense, ground-hugging cushion - only extending 20mm in height when in flower - is a necessary habit considering its geographical range through the arctic and high mountains of Europe. Other forms are cultivated in the Rock Garden scree where again a free-draining root zone is provided. There is a pot grown example, growing in the north alpine frame. In this sheltered microclimate the growth is very straggly.
This perennial herb is hardy to -45.1 degrees Celsius or zone 2 by USDA standard. Though at home in arctic bog and tundra, it adapts well to cultivation. It is a British native, so if you miss it at the Botanics, look out for the splash of purple when walking in the Scottish hills.
Woodland floor to hedgerow; a selection of the best British natives for Easter.
Primula vulgaris and its close relative the Cowslip, P. veris, are well known spring indicators. Spreading by seed and the scratching activity of mammals which inadvertently split clumps apart, resulting in the propagules rooting into the surrounding vegetation. The Primrose has been developed by generations of plant breeders and is now marketed aggressively as spring bedding. Flower colour ranges through white to red and blue. Resist temptation and plant or sow the true yellow species; where a damp shady corner is available these plants will thrive. Look to see the difference in pin eye and thrum eyed flowers. Pin eye is self evident; observe the prominent pin headed stigma. In the thrum eyed flowers the multiple anthers protrude slightly from the petals.
Two others to keep an eye out for are Coltsfoot, Tussilago farfara, a British native with an invasive root system. The yellow composite flowers ride on a scaly stalk. When seen this is a reliable indicator that the soil is warm enough for weed seedlings to germinate. Should the weekend be dry go armed with a hoe and reduce the germinating population sprouting up through bare soil before they become a problem. One seedling that rapidly colonises bare soil is Lamium purpureum, the Red Dead Nettle. Flowering early in the year it is a provider of nectar for early bees who need sugar after their winter sleep.
This Easter has coincided with Daffodils in full bloom. Look out for Narcissus pseudonarcissus. Flowering in the Rock garden with yellow corolla surrounded by much lighter petals. A coloniser of damp ditch banks but as with the Primrose will appear in most areas in various forms.
At various locations through the garden are swathes of Wood Anemone, Anemone nemorosa, a coloniser of woodland glades. The brittle match thin roots form mats through the leaf litter. On a sunny day the myriad of buds suddenly open transforming large patches of ground into a white or pink carpet.
Also in the family Ranunculaceae is Pulsatilla vulgaris the Pasque Flower, found growing in the rock garden the purple buds protrude upwards from the central clump, opening bell shaped and drooping down into the dissected foliage. Covered in minute hairs this gives the foliage a silver appearance. Close by is P.v. ssp. grandis slightly earlier to open and with larger flowers and the same bright yellow anthers, a native to Central Europe. Both prefer dry grassland, preferring a limestone base where they clump up successfully producing lacy seedheads during summer.
Harry Lauders Walking Stick was discovered in a Gloucestershire hedgerow two centuries ago, Corylus avellana 'Contorta' is hanging with yellow catkins filled with pollen. Look closer at the deciduous shoots to see the female flowers, small buds with slightly protruding red stigmas ready to catch the wind blown pollen grains.
Finally two parasitic species formerly in the family Orobanchaceae but with the family revisions following the adoption of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APG) within the Herbarium is now in Scrophulariaceae. Lathraea clandestina is found near the pond at the base of host trees. A mass of purple parrot bill shaped flowers arise from the leafless clump. In contrast the flowers of L. squamaria, the Toothwort, are arranged on a short stalk, the whole is devoid of chlorophyll, insipid pink in colour and would pass as a shrimp if put on a dinner plate.
After the excess of chocolate at Easter; Turkish delight.
Our plant of Omphalodes cappadocica was collected as seed by the late Douglas Henderson, Regius Keeper of the Garden from 1970 until his retirement in 1987. The twelfth in a long line of eminent academics to have held this Royal appointment since 1670. It was during a visit to Turkey in 1961 that seeds of this "Navelwort" were collected near the town of Pazar on the Black Sea coast.
An evergreen rhizomatous perennial that covers ground in shade or semi shaded situations. Growing in the rock garden in dense shade beneath a coniferous canopy it is now pushing up masses of clear blue flowers on terminal cymes. Juniperus rigida is providing shelter from heavy rain which O. cappadocica dislikes and when subjected to will die out.
In the family Boraginaceae it has large leaves covering the ground which shrivel brown as new growth is produced from late March onwards.
As observed during March 2007
- Crocus cultivars at the East Ggate and on the slope down from the Terrace Café.
- Camellia species from an AGS trip, R24
- Prunus hirtipes, south-west quarter of the Pyrus Lawn.
- Rhododendron mucronulatum M07
- Rubus species, white stems, F01 opposite the West Gate.
- The Alpine House is full of bulbous blooms and other alpines of interest.
- Camellia x williamsii ‘Bow Bells': two plants in the borders of the Front Range, one to the south the other, later flowering to the north, T05.
- Clematis cirrhosa: Q02, growing over the wooden door to the alpine area.
- Corylopsis pauciflora: D45, RHS Award of Merit beds.
- Mahonia aquifolium: the Oregon grape in bloom around the base of the cedar on the Azalea Lawn, J01.
- Frog spawn present in the pond of the Demonstration Garden.
- Rhododendron x praecox: various locations, will continue to bloom providing early morning sun occurs and there is no frost
- Rhododendron nobleanum, F05
- Primula marginata, alpine wall.
- Recommend the view to the Pentlands, with a dusting of snow and clear sky the hills stand out today
- Forsythia x intermedia ‘Lynwood', D44
- Mahonia polyodonta, SBEC collection, F10
- Pieris formosa, H09
- Corylopsis sinensis var. calvescens: a dusty scent evident around the plant, C06.
The rhododendron season is starting:
- R. macbeanum: yellow blooms, N.E.India, F15
- R. ririei: an early Forrest collection, F15
- R. strigillosum x praevernum: in the Ponticum section, C06
- R. cinnamomeum var. roseum, F10
- R. lanigerum, F10
- R. floccigerum: from S.W. China, in the Copse, C21.
- Visitors to the Caledonian Horticultural Society Show at the caly hall this weekend will be interested in:
- Magnolia sprengeri var. elongata: seen from the road walking west past the marquee, M21
- Prunus x yedoensis: in the lawn near the East Gate
- Primula denticulata: the drumstick primula, in the peat walls, W26
- Ulex europaeus: gorse in flower at the edges of the Scottish Heath Garden, heavily scented of coconut / honey as the temperature rises during the day
- Spring bulbs throughout the Rock Garden.
The magnolia season has started:
- M. campbellii: large pink flowers at the top of the tree, H10
- M. ‘Charles Raffill': an improved hybrid between M. campbellii and M.c. mollicomata, F30
- M. sargentiana var. robusta ‘Alba', M19
- M. sprengeri var elongate: note the damage to the blooms where the early morning sun caught the canopy after Friday night's frost, C19. Also note another plant of this species to the north of the holly shelter belt in C09. The blooms on this plant are still in tight bud due to the lower temperature from lack of sunlight.
- M. sprengeri: C12, the straight species of the previous wild occuring variety. Again with pink flowers.
- Cornus mas ‘Redstone': north of the Terrace Cafe. Mass of yellow scented flowers.
- Pyrus calleryana: S20, wide spreading canopy covered in white blossom. An original Wilson collection from China.
- Rhododendron fulvum ssp.fulvum: a Farrer introduction no.874 from 1923, W04 .