Rhododendrons like this amazing Choremia Tower Court, blazing in the sunshine this afternoon in The Savill Garden within the greater Windsor Great Park – made this a fine choice for a walk, through these extensive gardens before exploring further into The Royal Landscape to search out the Jubilee Horse and the Copper Horse, with views across to Windsor Castle. Gobsmacking specimen, this hybrid rhododendron (arboreum x haematodes).
Crocus and narcissus, pulmonaria and hellebores, iris and snowdrops colour the woodland floor, while Camellias and Rhododendrons, Hamamelis, early cherry, Prunus Kursar and golden yellow Cornus mas light up the canopy. No sign of any magnolia blossom – the furry felt-grey buds are still tightly shut. The dogwoods and pollarded willow add a splash of reds, gold and orange, yellow and coral, contrasting against the multi-stemmed bone-white Birch.
The swirling design of the Rose Garden, with the prow of the viewing platform rising to give some wider perspective – a text book case of excellent pruning, weeding and generous mulching! The radiating beds of Molinia grasses are mounded and rounded with the stems cut razor sharp and flat. Fresh dressing to the paths accentuates the pattern and crispness of the design.
The gardens are a splendour today, with colour and fragrance (from great swathes of Sarcococca and sentinels of Daphne odora, Daphne bholua) and so much promise for the full might of Spring yet to come. Some of the Camellias and Rhododendrons were stunning, drowning in flower from top-to-toe, pitting their exuberance against the gentle forest floor offerings, proving that delicate and detailed can also be showstoppers.
We continued our walk out into the wider Park, but I’ll leave you within the bounds of the Savill Garden for the moment, with a promise to return again later this spring to capture some of the yet-to-come.