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The arrival of spring in the Arboretum

Tony Hall
22 February 2012
Blog team: 
Colourful bulbs and scented flowering shrubs are brightening up the coldest days in Kew's Arboretum - with the promise of better things to come.

There are already many colourful and wonderfully scented flowering shrubs and bulbs in this early part of spring.

Apart from brightening up our days, most of the early bulbs are a great source of nectar and pollen for bees and other insects - even the occasional, very early overwintering butterfly which bright sunny days can sometimes trick into thinking it's warmer than it really is. A red admiral butterfly was spotted in the Arboretum this year on the 27 January!  Queen bumble bees rely on  the early flowering shrubs and bulbs to feed themselves and the first of their broods.

Here are some of the highlights:


Some of the earliest flowering are the aconites, snowdrops, and some species of crocus. Here C. tommasinianus are soon to be followed by lots of daffodils and bluebells in May.



The vibrant colours of just two of the many witch hazel cultivars.

The elegant and impressive long tassles of the male form of Garrya elpitica 'James Roof' '.


Fragrant shrub, Sweet box and Viburnum x bodnantense, brighten the coldest early spring days.


These are some of the many Hellebore seedlings raised from seed at Kew. The variety in their size and colour is amazing.

Apart from flowers, you can't beat a crisp spring morning sunrise.

- Tony -



29 February 2012
As always your photos are beautiful. Where can I go to see those lovely hellebores that were raised from seed?
26 February 2012
Genuinely appreciate the status report as the season progresses. The Spring morning sunrise image is quite nice.

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