It's damp at Wisley as I write, but I'm sure the sun will return. To be honest, I'm out in China at the moment, at a Magnolia symposium. It has brought all the world's experts together for a unique event, with field trips to Nankinsham in Guangdong Province, before more to Shixi and Lushan in Jiangxi Province. Although at low levels, I have seen many familiar plants including Cornus kousa var. chinensis, and also Bretschneidera, a plant that I haven't seen before.
Back at home, the Wisley Cornus grove is yet to come into full glory, but the area is currently a sea of blue from camassias. They overlook a glorious view over the Alpine Meadow and Wild Garden, where the wisterias and rhododendrons enliven the area with a rainbow of colours. Battleston Hill is positively glowing likewise.
I love this time of year for the exuberance of spring. Oak trees are now in leaf and the first roses are in bloom. And the Floral team have been planting sweet peas around the base of homemade peastick pyramidal supports for the summer display of sweet peas and dahlias that will fill those beds that usually feature subtropical plants.
This is because the subtropical plants have been relocated just a little way away to the Maize Maze site. We're having a pirate ship as a focal point this year, and we're setting the scene with bananas, cannas etc.
The Fruit and Trials teams have started sowing the sweetcorn for the maze, and we've installed some bird deterrents - we hope they scare them off, though I've heard reports of our local ducks waddling over the site!
I hope you have a good week, despite the battering our gardens might receive. At least we have the Chelsea Flower Show to look forward to, but even in gloomy weather, Wisley in May is simply too good to miss.