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Spring at Borde Hill Garden

A set of photographs taken in April of spring flowering plants and trees around the 200 acre estate concentrating on Magnolias.


GAP Photos/Ellen Rooney

Feature No:   4839 

Qty of Images:    48 


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Images available for use by license only.

The highlight of Borde Hill in spring is its collection of a wide variety of Magnolias spread around different areas of the garden flowering. One of the stars is the champion tree, Magnolia campbellii one of the first to bloom with large pink blooms on leafless branches. Borde Hill Garden has been in the Stephenson Clarke family since 1893 when it was purchased by Colonel Stephenson Robert Clarke. He began collecting different varieties of plants from around the world by sponsoring some of the great plant collectors of the time including Ernest Wilson, George Forrest and Reginald Farrer. He also obtained plants from great gardens in including Caerhays Castle, Nymans, Leonardslee and Exbury. The garden has remained in the Stephenson Clarke family and is now owned and managed by the great grandson of Colonel Clarke, Andrewjohn Stephenson Clarke and his wife Eleni Stephenson Clarke. Andrewjohn unexpectedly inherited the estate in 1987 when his father died at an early age and his older brother decided he didn’t want to take it on. Andrewjohn studied engineering and Eleni, geology so neither were prepared to run a garden but Eleni subsequently took RHS horticultural courses at Brimsbury College and is very involved with the running of the garden, meeting weekly with the head gardener. Along with many other projects, they are continuing the tradition of acquiring magnolias to plant around the garden. With the help of Jim Gardiner, magnolia expert and former curator of RHS Wisley Garden, they are expanding the collection in an area called Gardiner Grove where Jim Gardiner selected many different varieties to plant in 2018. Today there are over 160 varieties of magnolia at Borde Hill. The different varieties of Magnolia flower primarily in March and April but there is a lot of other interest around the garden in early spring including a swathe of Hellebores in the Garden of Allah, fiery red, yellow and orange Azaleas in the Azalea ring, the Blue Border of Allium and Camassia and stunning Fritillaria imperialis surrounding the Italian Garden.



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