May is Davidia time in the arboretum - when our wonderful tree flowers and looks like it's covered with pocket handkerchiefs (they give it it's common name of the Pocket Handkerchief Tree).
Batsford’s specimen was one of the first to be planted in Britain after it was discovered growing wild in China towards the end of the nineteenth century. Seeds were sent back to the UK by Victorian plant hunter Ernest Wilson in 1901, and it caused such a stir when it first flowered, nurserymen couldn’t keep up with demand for plants.
Batsford though was one of the first to benefit from the new discovery - believed to have been planted in about 1910 making it more than a century old!
Also looking gorgeous in the Arboretum this month are the camassias around the statue of Daphne; glades of brightly coloured bluebells and muscari as well as drifts of wild garlic wafting on the spring breeze!