Spring is an exciting time at Logan with clusters of daffodils forming carpets of colour across the Garden. Together with a colony of Crocus beneath the Eucalyptus they typify the blend of familiar and exotic which is the Garden's hallmark.
Vying for attention next are the rhododendrons and magnolias, which have an arresting presence during their flowering period. Many of the rhododendrons grown at Logan are too tender for the majority of gardens and can rarely be seen thriving outdoors anywhere in Britain. They include the Himalayan Rhododendron maddenii, a variable species with scented white to pink flowers in late spring to early summer and R. fragrantissimum, best-known of Maddenia hybrids and also late-flowering. The large bluish-white flowers of the latter are a feature of the shrubbery between the Tree Fern Lawn and the Centre Wall, being so fragrant that the surrounding air is sweetened.
Above is the magnificent Magnolia campbelli "Charles Raffill" in full bloom normally the last week in March
The beautiful Rhododendron "R.W.Rye" is shown above.
The camellias are also a delight at this time of year. They often start flowering as early as January and go on often until May.
Though flowers come first among the joys of spring, new leaves and growth can be just as thrilling. Ferns never fail to amaze as the fresh green fonds unfurl from tight felted crooks, expanding with supreme grace to reach up to six feet in length.
The North facing Rhododendron border featured above is normally in full flower in late April and features a wide variety of early flowering Rhododenrons including Rhododendron johnstonianum and Rhododendron burmanicum. The attractive subsection Maddenia Rhododendrons are shown above.
On the South facing wall alongside the specimens of Clianthus puniceus "Lobster Claw" (below) produce exotic red or white flowers over a prolonged period of time
The Water Garden is worth a visit in spring as it provides a home for skunk cabbages: the western North American Lysichiton americanus with bright yellow spathes and its East Asian counterpart L.camtschatcensis, with smaller and later pure white inflorescences. These are followed by their more elegant relatives, the South African arum lilies with bright green arrowhead leaves and white-spathed inflorescences.
The middle walled garden is at its peak in May with an array of luxurious foliage and dazzling flowers from plants such as Pieris, Rhododendron 'Fragrantissimum' and Candelabra Primulas. One of highlights of this area is Rhododendron edgeworthii "Logan Dream" with its stunning pink and white petals, as seen below.
Visible from afar are the Himalayan poppies (Meconopsis grandis) whose brilliant sky blue contrasts vividly with the lemon flower of the smaller Welsh poppy. The first of these fragile flowers open towards the end of May. Flowering earlier is the New Zealand forget-me-not, Mysotidium hortensia, with its attractive glossy leaves and prominent ribs.
Splashes of eye-catching red are provided by the flowering currant, Ribes speciosum, which in April and May produces an abundance of flowers in pendulous clusters.
Also worthy of a mention are the wattles or mimosas whose acid yellow flowers herald spring in the Australian bush.