Spring is a special time at Westonbirt – when colour brings the arboretum to life through bold blooms, gentle wildflowers and fresh leaves.
Visit on Wednesdays in April and May and see for yourself with half price admission!
Is spring flowering happening later than usual this year? Find out what one of our phenology volunteers thinks on the blog.
This spring, trail stops in the Old Arboretum will include information on the origins of many of the heritage rhododendrons, camellias and other flowering trees.
Over in Silk Wood, the spring trail will follow wildflowers, cherries and find out how some of Westonbirts signature trees and landscape features bring out the best of spring. Download the trail map or pick one up for free from the Great Oak Hall (10am-4pm).
Westonbirt Arboretum's creator Robert Holford collected trees and plants from around the world for his arboretum. He had these planted within a Picturesque landscape design to show off form and colour.
The Old Arboretum, with its views, rides and vistas, is the perfect place to appreciate this combination of plant collecting and innovative landscape design.
As February turns to March visitors will see the first flowering of rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias, making the most of the acid soils in the Old Arboretum.
Magnolias are more tolerant of neutral soils and begin to flower from March. Specimens to look out for include the splendid Magnolia campbellii (Westonbirt has some of the tallest specimens in the country) and the Magnolia sprengeri 'Diva' by Savill Glade - a 'champion' and therefore the largest of its kind in the British Isles. Read more about the Magnolia sprengeri 'Diva' on our blog.
By mid-April, flowering should be in full swing with displays from some of Westonbirt's signature rhododendrons, including Rhododendron williamsianum with its unusual heart shaped leaves and a mass of pink bell-shaped flowers.
Westonbirt's wilder side
In Silk Wood, spring brings a spectacular spread of wildflowers including celandines, bluebells, wood anemones and primroses. The arboretum’s semi-natural, ancient woodland area is an impressive sight during the spring and the freshness of the new foliage of our native trees won't fail to lift your spirits.
Early flowering cherries also begin to bloom at this time, among them Prunus sargentii. Visit the Cherry Collection in Silk Wood to really immerse yourself in these.
In late April to early May the glades are flooded with a sea of bluebells and in Maple Loop, the new leaves of the Japanese maples open in a surprising array of bright colours.