Magnolia campbellii

The most defiantly cheerful plant on the planet

This tree has to be the most defiantly cheerful plant on the planet.  It comes from the Himalayas and is one of the most ancient of true flowers. Through the coldest days of winter, it holds these magnificent blooms wrapped tightly in thick furry buds.  In the coldest winters they go brown and drop but I have only seen that once in the last ten years.  By February winter is really dragging and it is hard to imagine that spring could ever come.  But on the greyest days, in the last week of the greyest month the furry buds crack and a flash of pink is visible.  Then on the first sunny day the tree erupts with such exuberance it feels like it is fighting off the winter.  This tree flowering marks the start of spring at Gravetye and the hope and pleasure it brings is priceless.

Head Gardener Tom.

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