Spring arrives early at Greenway

The Magnolia campbellii flowering at Greenway

A historic magnolia in Greenway garden announced the early arrival of spring by opening its first flower on Monday 4 January; the earliest it is ever known to have bloomed.

Spring has sprung

The Magnolia, which was planted by Agatha Christie’s husband Max Mallowan, normally flowers in March, but the mild winter has seen the spring flowering plants budding and blooming unusually early. Greenway’s Senior Gardener, Colin Clark, said ‘We also have 31 different camellias and 33 other shrubs in flower, as well as bulbs such as daffodils and cyclamen.
 
'The Magnolia planted by Max just has one or two blooms on it at the moment, but is covered in buds. If the weather were to turn cold now, those buds might just hold off flowering for a couple more weeks, but if it were to stay wet and mild as it has been, the magnolia will flower and the petals will all be knocked off by the rain by the time Greenway opens to the public again on 13 February. We are keeping our fingers crossed for some cold weather so that visitors will be able to see this beautiful magnolia at its best.’