Spring arrives early for Bowood’s Rhododendron Walks

Bowood rhododendron

Due to the  mild winter, Bowood’s spectacular Rhododendron Walks are nine days ahead of themselves.

So Bowood is delighted to announce that this stunning woodland garden – which was originally scheduled to re-open for its annual six week season on Saturday 26 April – will now be opening this Thursday 17 April instead…just in time for Easter!

Thanks to planting by successive generations of the Lansdowne family in this heavenly spot, over 60 acres are now carpeted by rhododendrons (as well as camellias and azaleas), with some of the earliest known hybrids to be found in the UK. Reached via its own dedicated entrance (two miles from the House and off the A342) and sitting on a narrow strip of green sand which runs between Poole and the Wash, Bowood’s highly-acclaimed Rhododendron Walks are unique to Wiltshire as the acid soil on which these plants thrive is unusual to the county. Indeed, the garden is one of the best spots in the country for such blooms with there being three distinct stages to the six week season: the early flowering, the bluebell flush and then the appearance of the azaleas.

With the season being such a short one, garden lovers are urged to catch these glorious blooms in good time. To check on progress as the next six weeks pan out simply click onto: www.bowood.org/category/garden-diary

The Rhododendron Walks are open daily from 11am-6pm (last admission at 5.30pm). Entrance is priced at £6.75 per adult and £6.25 per senior citizen while children (2-12) are free of charge. (Well behaved dogs on leads are permitted in the Rhododendron Walks only)

With an added sense of pride this year, the Rhododendron Walks come into bloom once again having been a major force in securing the ‘Garden of the Year 2014’ award. Sponsored by the Historic Houses Association and Christie’s, the award is to be presented to Lord & Lady Lansdowne on Wednesday 14 May at 11am.

The last, and only previous time, a Wiltshire garden won the award was Heale House in 1984 – the very first year of the award. So it is Bowood that is bringing the award back to Wiltshire after a 30 year wait.