March’s Marvellous Magnolias

Magnolia Tree at Kew Gardens
Magnolia Tree at Kew Gardens

Mindblowingly majestic magnolia trees in their Spring flower can be seen across the UK this week. From the palest ivory to magenta pink these botanical beauties herald the welcome arrival of the better weather season and the promise of longer and brighter days with hundreds of large drop shaped buds.

A particularly fine selection of some stunning examples of this large genus can be found at Kew Royal Botanic Gardens in South in Kew near Richmond on the west side of London, England.

Thousands of visitors enjoy discovering the flora and fauna on display at the UNESCO World Heritage Site every year. People of all ages experience the joy of browsing through several different varieties in the magnolias section of the famous park, which is in the north west part next to Princess Walk and near the River Thames. The magnolia area can be accessed easily by the Brentford gate and is marked clearly on the free map guide leaflet which is found at the entrances.

Kew is open from 10am to 7pm from the first of April and adult tickets are £22 per person and concessions are available. We recommend scheduling most of the day and taking a packed lunch. There are quality restaurants and cafes dotted around the site for refreshments too. Many different attractions can be explored within the grounds including interesting sculptures. Rare and fragile plants are displayed in heated Victorian glass houses, which are well worth a visit, as this enables the visitor to see hundreds of varieties of bushes and blooms that otherwise could not be grown in this country.

Kew has its own train station and is also easily found by road and there is parking on site too. The historical landscaped museum has “the largest and most diverse collection of living plants in the world.” So even if magnolias are not your favourite springtime seedling, there is sure to be an unexpected timber treat that will lift your spirits.

Wherever you live in the UK, keep an eye out this month for wonderful examples of this most elegant budding species growing in residential gardens nearby. It is also worth strolling through your local National Trust and English Heritage sites that have spacious planted grounds full of fresh early blossom.

Kew Spring map and leaflet: official website