Such a beautifully sunny, warm and fragrant afternoon at RHS Wisley. Crowds upon crowds filling the car parks but amongst the meandering paths of Battleston Hill, just a few folk pottering through the woodland paths, admiring the camellias. An amazingly colourful display pretty much at their peak, or just a little over, filling the wooded hillside with rich shades of crimson, pink, cream and white.

The magnolias were still tightly budded, save a very few, and the woodland floor was studded with Hellebores, Narcissus, the earliest of perennials (Pulmonaria, Corydalis). The fading Daphne bholua cultivars are still pumping out an amazing cloud of rich perfume, likewise the stand of Edgworthia chrysantha, with warm spicy clove married perfectly with the lemon yellow Rhododendron next door.

A non-camellia highlight was the flowering cherry, Prunus campanulata Felix Jury, in one of the small hillside show gardens – a pure delight in rich, deep/dark purple, jewel-like flowers on ascending bare stems. There were other early cherries in flower  – Euridice at the top of Battleston Hill, set off against Camellia x williamsii Donation – but Felix was a star!

Rain, sunshine and more rain will transform these winding paths and woodland into an even richer tapestry of fresh green and spring colour. Enjoy …

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