Say hello to spring

14 min read


From glorious walks, to exciting egg hunts, Easter entertaining and Mothering Sunday… it’s time to open the door to the new season



Stepping out into springtime gardens when nature is at its finest is one of the most delightful treats of the season. Here are six to visit…

GLENDURGAN GARDEN, CORNWALL Sheltered in a lush valley, these beautiful gardens are perfect for an early spring visit. Expect to be dazzled by bluebells, daffodils and camellias, then take on the challenge of the complex maze, or take a stroll down to the Helford River.

HINTON AMPNER, HAMPSHIRE Marvel at the landscaped gardens that surround this country manor house; visit the Magnolia Walk in full bloom for a glorious, all-too-brief display; soak up the scent of the narcissus; or go tiptoe through the tulips.

SIZERGH, CUMBRIA The Lakes and daffodils are poetically linked forever, and at Sizergh there is a wonderful display in the springtime wildflower bank. Head to the impressive rock garden for more daffs – this time miniature – and uplifting muscari.

ANGLESEY ABBEY, CAMBRIDGE A painter’s dream. Blue and white hyacinths create a heady display in the formal garden, while in the white-bark beauty of the Himalayan silver birch grove, a sea of tulips greets the eye. Bring your pastels.

BODNANT GARDEN, CONWY The Carneddau Mountains are a joyful part of the scenery here in these spectacular gardens. Rhododendrons are said to thrive year round, but come in late spring for the most impressive display (pictured, inset).

SISSINGHURST CASTLE GARDEN, KENT By early March the labours of the hugely creative couple Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West, who dreamed up these magical gardens, come into fruition (pictured, above). Enjoy the atmosphere of this special place as you walk round the drifts of daffodils and bluebells.

For details of all these gardens and more, visit


Floral and garden artist Lucy Hunter shows just how straightforward it is…

It’s easy to grow a cutting garden… and you don’t need a huge amount of space, says Lucy Hunter, author of The Flower Hunter (Ryland Peters & Small, £35). Most flowers – whether planted in your garden or pots – will do best in full sun; if your patch is shady, make sure you choose plants that prefer these conditions. ‘Cut and come again’ varieties, such as sweet peas, dahlias, snapdragons, rudbeckia, asters, cosmos and marigolds will continue to produce blooms all summer long. For foliage, eucalyptus or pittosporum work well.

‘Tulips are possibly my favourite for spring, in particular “Charming Lady”, “La Belle Epoque” and “Super Parrot”, sa

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