We are thrilled with the way Wildcat has ignored its name and settled in the garden. It is an almost perfect white and beautiful form. It is just beginning to flower as Easter approaches. Others are too, so, unless we are very unlucky with the weather, we will have a good show of Magnolias on the 11th April. The early Cherries are appearing and as you will see from the photograph of The Bride, no wedding dress could be of a more perfect white. It is a pretty form and looking at its best. Shirotae (Mount Fuji) has broken into flower in the last couple of days, all 36 feet across of it. It forms one of the stars of the Spring garden.
When in the West Country for Easter holidays many years ago with the children, we used to see the wonderful Corylopsis pauciflora at Trewithen Gardens. It was a champion with a glorious scent. I tried it unsuccessfully but found that this one (Corylopsis willmottiae) was that much hardier. In its 15-year life here it has been cut to the ground by frost on two occasions but this year has managed to flower as never before. It deserves to be very proud of itself.
One of our darkest magnolias, Black Tulip, stands across a grass path from a fastigiate form of Magnolia Kobus which is a creamy white. They are both quite young but as they gain maturity they will make a wonderful contrasting pair.
Please come and see these and other treasures. We look forward to greeting you and the NGS is desperate for its gardens to be visited and to perform. It is the umbrella charity of many important ones covering health as well as plant issues.
Ewan and Jenny Harper