Magnificent Magnolias – Guided Tour with Head of Horticulture, Harry Baldwin, 11am-12pm
Borde Hill is home to a truly impressive collection of magnolias. Some, collected by the Great Plant Collectors in the 1900s are now 90 years old and many have established so well that they have become ‘champion’ trees, and are either the tallest or have the largest girth in Britain and Ireland. In addition, it’s now four years since Gardiner’s Grove was planted with 48 new magnolia trees sourced by Jim Gardiner, Vice President of the Royal Horticultural Society, and all are now maturing beautifully.
On 29 March and 5 April, visitors have a unique opportunity to find out more about them with a free hour-long Guided Magnolia Tour led by Harry Baldwin, Borde Hill’s new and enthusiastic Head of Horticulture, who will highlight the most magnificent magnolias and bring to life the story of their origins. Harry, who was previously Taxonomist and Dendrologist of the Arboretum at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, will also explain how the future of Borde Hill’s historic tree and shrub collection will continue to develop into the 21st century.
Colonel Stephenson R. Clarke of Borde Hill sponsored the original plant hunters, and raised the famous Camellia “Donation” at the Garden in the 1930s. The collection also includes Magnolia sprengeri var. ‘Diva’, the Goddess magnolia, which came from a seed collection made by celebrated plant hunter EH Wilson. Other magnolias to discover include Magnolia campbellii, M campbellii var molicomata, M dawdsoniana and Magnolia sargentiana var. robusta, introduced into cultivation in the UK in 1908.
Andrewjohn Stephenson Clarke, current family owner of Borde Hill says, “We are delighted to be sharing our impressive collection of magnolias with visitors who travel from near and far to enjoy our rare plants and trees, and we work hard to protect the collection for generations to come.”