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Head gardener shares best May blooms to spot at Powis Castle and Garden

MAY sees the world-famous Powis Castle and Garden in Welshpool burst into bloom, from towering rhododendrons to tumbling wisteria.

Head gardener, David Swanton, shares highlights for the month ahead in one of the finest gardens in Britain cared for by National Trust Cymru.

With views across the Severn Valley, dramatic terraces, an Orangery, an Edwardian formal garden and a peaceful wooded landscape, there is so much to explore in the Grade I listed garden.

Descend into the historic Edwardian Formal Garden this month and be greeted by the sweet-scented blossom on the 100-year-old apples trees which line the manicured lawn.

From varieties such as Bismark to Ribston Pippin, these blossom trees were the vision of Lady Violet, Countess of Powis in the early 1900s in her mission to make Powis Castle ‘one of the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful in England and Wales’.

Lady Violet’s influence can still be seen today, alongside the pristine croquet lawn lined with colourful borders and meticulously trimmed fruit trees. Spot bunches of bright blue Grape Hyacinths and Scillas swaying in the breeze underneath the apple blossom.

For those who don’t want to walk too far, vistas of the expansive garden below can be enjoyed from the top of the Italianate terraces. Considered the finest surviving example of a 17th century terraced garden in Britain, purple Irises provide a splash of joyful colour, nestled between stone statues and bright boarders. 

Head gardener David Swanton below the vine arch at Powis Castle and Garden

“Spring is one of my favourite times of year,” said Mr Swanton. “As the garden wakes up for the warmer months, it’s filled with colour and sweet scents once again. Keep an eye out for the sunny yellow Azaleas within the woodland garden – the scent from these is always incredible.

“A seasonal highlight for me are the blossom trees within the Edwardian Formal Garden. Some have been flowering for more than 100 years, not only putting on a cheerful display for all visitors to enjoy, but also providing an important source of nectar for our local biodiversity including bees and butterflies.

“If you visit around the middle of May, enjoy the two-metre-high purple wisteria which adorns the Aviary Terrace and is always popular with visitors – and butterflies too!.

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“If you want to walk a little further into the Wilderness, an informal woodland behind the formal garden, you’ll be greeted by bright displays of primulas alongside red and soft lilac rhododendrons. Keep a look out for a sea of bluebells too which have already started flowering under the canopy of rustling trees.”

Powis Castle and Garden is open daily from 10am to 5pm, with last entry at 4.30pm to the garden and 3.30pm to the castle. To plan a visit please click here.