Celebrate magnificent magnolia month in Cornwall

Take a spring selfie among the blooms and you could win a two-night stay at a country house hotel in this ruggedly beautiful county

Garden lovers across the UK are being invited to be part of Cornwall’s Spring Story 2020, as one of Britain’s most spectacular botanical shows bursts into life to herald the start of spring.

Cornwall’s Spring Story celebrates the moment Cornish magnolias flower, spring has arrived in England. The Great Gardens of Cornwall announce spring’s arrival each year when the champion Magnolia Campbellii tree in some of The Great Gardens flower with 50 blooms apiece. This eagerly awaited moment in the UK’s botanical calendar, say the Great Gardens, can be up to a month before the rest of Britain.

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This year spring was announced on Tuesday, February 18 and visitors to The Great Gardens of Cornwall are being encouraged to take photos of themselves in giant pink frames during Magnolia Month, and post on social media to be in with a chance of winning a two-night stay at Cornwall’s five-star country house hotel, The Nare.

Each of The Great Gardens taking part this year – Caerhays, Trebah, Trewidden, Trewithen and The Lost Gardens of Heligan – will have a frame close to their entrance for visitors to strike a pose and grab a selfie. It’s part of an innovative campaign to create awareness of the stunning Cornish Spring Gardens and to encourage people to visit Cornwall during the early spring season to see the magnificent magnolias.

The celebrated magnolia trees, originally from the Himalayas, are the exotic supermodels of the botanical world. Hailed by horticulturalists as ‘Queens of the Forest’, they have stunning goblet-shaped pink flowers, some as big as dinner plates, that provide a dazzling catwalk of floral colour.

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‘Magnolia Month’ is just the beginning of Cornwall’s spring show as the magnolias are soon followed by further explosions of vibrant colour from camellias, rhododendrons, tulips and bluebells. Against the magnificent backdrops of the historic and contemporary Great Gardens, Cornwall’s spring flowers dance against blue skies and bring an end to the grey scenes of winter.

“There’s nowhere better to enjoy early spring than in Cornwall,” said Charles Williams, owner of Caerhays Castle and Gardens. “And Spring Selfies are a fun way to celebrate them. Garden lovers should plan to come here in March to really see the gardens in all their spectacular and unique beauty. Flowering magnolias are the true start of the season and we’re delighted to announce spring has arrived already in Cornwall. The magnolias have continued to flower in spite of the recent storm, which just goes to show the resilience of the county’s early spring.”

Cornwall’s Spring Story – the moment Cornish Magnolias flower, spring has arrived in England – was founded by Toby Ashworth of The Nare Hotel, in partnership with the Great Gardens of Cornwall. It was in response to the fact that, by waiting until May, many garden lovers were missing the most splendid sight of all – the flowering of the magnolias – which occurred in February and March each year.

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Steve Ott
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