Batsford Arboretum is living proof it’s not just for autumn – it’s in the spring the wild garden really comes into its own.
The Fuji cherries – a mountain variety of Japanese cherry – kick-start the blossom displays from late March alongside the stunning displays of 73 different varieties of Magnolia, weather permitting.
The wow factor arrives from early April thanks to the Japanese flowering cherries – as holders of the National Collection of Prunus (Sato-Sakura group) cherries; Batsford is home to 120 trees in clusters around the 56 acre arboretum. The 52 different varieties, known as Japanese village cherries, offer a confetti of colour appearing gradually from early April to early May. Colours range from pure white to fuchsia pink and every shade in-between. A large variety of flowering cherries are available to buy from the Plant Centre at Batsford.
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Also in flower are hundreds of golden Daffodils, plus Hellebores and Skunk Cabbage – with their bright yellow flower – followed by Snake’s head fritillaries and Muscari (grape) hyacinths in early April.
In mid-May, Batsford Arboretum’s famous Pocket Handkerchief Tree – the Davidia involucrata – springs into life. The tree is known as the Pocket Handkerchief Tree because each flower is protected by two long white bracts which look like white handkerchiefs hanging from the branches. After it was discovered growing wild in China towards the end of the nineteenth century, seeds were sent back to the UK by Victorian plant hunter Ernest Wilson in 1901. Batsford’s specimen was one of the first to be planted in Britain in around 1910 and is believed to be one of the largest in the UK today.
Also to look out for from late-May are beautiful Alliums lining the entrance to the Arboretum, plus drifts of stunning Camassia.
Spring Events at Batsford
Dawn Chorus Wild Walk, Saturday 30th April, from 4am
Join Batsford birding expert Arthur Ball for a stroll through the Arboretum to hear the beautiful dawn chorus. With more than forty years’ experience, Arthur will keep you informed and entertained about the native and visiting birds and help you identify them through their song. For more details, visit www.batsarb.co.uk
Celebrate World Tai Chi Day, Saturday 30th April, 11am – 12pm
Intrigued by the ancient art of Tai Chi, or fancy helping to celebrate World Tai Chi Day under the spring blossom at Batsford? Join the experts as they demonstrate this fantastic form of exercise for all ages, and have a go yourself. This free session is a great introduction to Tai Chi and includes entry to the Arboretum. For more details, visit www.batsarb.co.uk
Wild Words Writing Workshop, Wednesday 4th May, 10.30am-3.00pm
Join creative writing tutor Bridget Holding for an all-genres writing workshop in the stunning natural environment of the 56 acre Arboretum at Batsford as part of the Chipping Campden Literature Festival. For details visit www.campdenlitfest.co.uk
Batsford Arboretum, Batsford, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, GL56 9ABEnjoy more Kitchen Garden reading in the monthly magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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