Our top spots for signs of spring
As the days get longer and winter fades, spring arrives in fresh bursts of colour and new life. Hear from our some of our staff and volunteers as to why spring is so special.
Hardcastle Crags, Yorkshire
'I love the magic of spring, when you can stop and appreciate the beauty of nature all around you. Find a spot to yourself and breathe in the space, sights and sounds of the world waking up.'
- Drew Marsh, ranger
'I love the way that Lanhydrock’s gardens burst into life each spring, with daffodils, magnolias, rhododendrons, camellias and bluebells blooming in a rainbow of colours.'
- Paul Holden, house manager
'My favourite spot is the magnolia glade in the higher garden where the area is filled with pink and white blooms – I know it as ‘magnolia heaven.'
- Tommy Teagle, head gardener
Brockhampton Estate, Herefordshire
'I know spring is in the air when I walk out my front door and the daffodils have appeared almost overnight. Then the sound and sight of lambs greets me as our tenant farmer brings them into the orchard for the first time. It is by far one of the most memorable times of year on the estate and my drive home at the end of the day is truly magnificent.'
- Nick Hinchliffe, ranger
An explosion of daffodils will welcome you on the drive down to Lower Brockhampton in spring. Then, from April to early May, the beautiful white blossom comes into flower on the trees and hedgerows and there are ranger walks through the historic orchards. The picturesque estate is home to rare breeds of sheep and, on a spring-time stroll along the nature trail, you can spot lambs playing close to the medieval, moated manor house.
Rowallane Garden, Co. Down
'Spring is my favourite season at Rowallane, the atmosphere is magical. The promise of the buds on the ground or above my head lets me know that spring has come, with rhododendrons, daffodils and viburnums all strutting their stuff.'
- Averil Milligan, head gardener
The enormous collection of rhododendrons burst into colour in spring at Rowallane. You can enjoy the walled garden with magnolias, daphnes and azaleas, pass through the tranquil wood with its canopy of beech and pine, then head to the hospital where acers shine with newly unfurled spring foliage and the famous davidia – the pocket handkerchief tree - dangles its white spring flowers.
'I’m always bowled over by the sheer diversity of the plants in spring-time in our gardens. My favourite place is the walled garden, which is a blaze of colour from all the pretty little spring flowers. The best days are when the sky is blue and young families are enjoying the garden together – that makes all our hard work worthwhile.'
- Philip Holmes, assistant head gardener
This 20th-century garden has an amazing collection of rare and important plants, bursting with colour in spring. Spot displays of camellias and magnolias and drifts of daffodils. Walk around the garden at your own pace or join a daily introductory talk or guided tour. Kids will love the explorer spring trail over the Easter holidays.
'After the long dark winter, I love the end of the silence and the blandness when spring arrives at Wallington. The eruption of birdsong, the first buzz of a bee and the glimpse of that first butterfly and frog spawn in the pond. The moment when the trees come alive and leaves burst into wonderful vivid greens and the woodland flora awakens as spikes of green begin to emerge from the soil. Wallington is blessed with two areas of wonderful woodland and ponds into which you can just immerse yourself and breathe in nature.'
- Paul Hewitt, countryside manager
Discover Wallington’s secret gardens, where carpets of spring bulbs blossom alongside huge trees, red squirrels, otters and great spotted woodpeckers. Don’t let April showers discourage a visit: Wallington’s Edwardian conservatory in the walled garden has a varied and colourful plant collection, making it the perfect place to find shelter. For families, there are lots of wild adventures, hands-on activities and the new train in the West Woods to let off steam like the Trevelyan children used to do.
Sizergh Castle and Garden, Cumbria
'Sizergh in spring holds a special place in my heart because of the display of daffodils on our wild flower bank, forming a golden carpet. It reminds me of a new awakening, yellow and cheerful – then I know spring is on its way.'
- Lynne Hardie, gardener
You can also see brightly coloured tulips on the top terrace, walk beneath cherry blossom in the Dutch garden and enjoy the spring colours in the rock garden. There are lots frogs, newts and numerous species of birds to spot, as well as bees and hens in the apple orchard. Potted plants are available to buy in the garden.
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