Spring flowers at Hughenden
Primroses dot the driveway, pansies brighten the formal gardens and wildflowers cover the woodlands at Hughenden Manor.
A perfect setting
As soon as you enter the Hughenden grounds you’re treated to the early signs of spring with clumps of pale primroses dotting the driveway. Carry on up the hill to the car park and you’ll see the bluebells just beginning to appear through the trees, by May it’s a stunning sea of blue worthy of a second look.
Take a stroll around the formal gardens to the parterre and you’ll be presented with the dramatic bedding display with its jewel-coloured pansies, purple iris and blue grape hyacinths, interspersed with bright daffodils, brightening up the odd grey day of spring.
Venture a little further and you’ll be rewarded with a show of early wild flowers including white wood anemones covering the ground in the sunny spots amongst the woodland.
And as the season progresses the pretty pink apple blossom starts to appear in our orchard and walled garden, the perfect place to sit and soak up the welcome spring sunshine.
Benjamin Disraeli loved spring flowers, primroses were his favourite, and so he created pathways through the trees and walks across the Hughenden estate to enjoy the season’s floral heroes.
Flowers to spot through the season
Snowdrops provide spots of colour among the brown earth and the pale green grass in February. They provide vital food on the days when the sun is strong enough to raise the temperature and the early bees venture out. In the gardens the seasonal parterre planting features scilla siberica, daphne mezereum and bergenia cordifolia, adding bright pinks and purple shades to the formal displays.
In the countryside, our Woodcock Walk is a gentle 1 mile stroll waymarked with blue signs and here you'll see the delicate white flowers of wood sorrel. In April bluebells burst into life, carpeting the woodland floor. The German Forest walk, a slightly longer 1.5 miles, follows the line of the woods and meanders along south-facing banks where pale yellow primroses, white lesser celandines and pink-flowered ground ivy have colonised the warmer soil.
Conservation in action
Our team of gardeners, rangers and volunteers have planted thousands of snowdrop bulbs along the drive and now every year we see nature adding to the display as the bulbs self-seed among the trees.
Strong winds often result in fallen branches, and occasionally trees, so our volunteer wardens regularly check the paths, armed with strong secateurs and handsaws, to keep the walks clear.
Look out for the emerging spring flowers and share your photos with us on our Facebook page.
Why not challenge younger members of the family to a spring flower challenge to see how many different species they can spot? Or perhaps you’d like to join us and volunteer some time to help the gardeners and rangers in their conservation work? We’d love to hear from you.