Switzer­land’s spe­cial flower

The Daily Telegraph - Gardening - - Front Page -

To see mag­no­lias and camel­lias in all their lip­stick shades of per­fec­tion you could take your chances with the weather in Corn­wall. Or you could head for Lo­carno, Switzer­land. This town on the shores of Lake Mag­giore hosts an an­nual Camel­lia Fes­ti­val (March 25-29). The sunny, hu­mid cli­mate and acid soil pro­vide per­fect grow­ing con­di­tions. Don’t miss th­ese hor­ti­cul­tural high­lights:

Parco delle Camelie Lo­carno’s lake­side Camel­lia Park con­tains more than 900 va­ri­eties and is the set­ting for the an­nual fes­ti­val where freshly cut flow­ers are dis­played in vases (0041 (0) 848 091 091; camel­lia.ch).

Gam­barogno botanic gar­den Founded in 1955 by nurs­ery­man and RHS Veitch medal­list Otto Eisen­hut, this is one of the rich­est

If you wanted to show a for­eign vis­i­tor their first view of a lit­tle-known, un­spoilt quin­tes­sen­tial English coun­try gar­den, you could do a lot worse than take them to Manor of Dean in Sus­sex. It boasts three acres of gar­den in­clud­ing herba­ceous bor­ders, a walled kitchen gar­den and me­an­der­ing walks, all with un­for­get­table views to the South Downs. col­lec­tions of mag­no­lias and camel­lias in Europe, along with aza­leas, rhodo­den­drons, wis­te­rias, pe­onies and dog­woods. Well worth a visit (91 795 1866; eisen­hut.ch/ his­tory-parco-botanico).

Bris­sago Is­lands botanic gar­den Set in Lake Mag­giore, the 6.2-acre gar­den on the larger of th­ese two is­lands was well known in the 1900s as the home of Rus­sian-born Baroness An­toni­etta Saint Léger who spared no ex­pense on her gar­den. Writer James Joyce was a vis­i­tor and stayed at the house. The gar­den is full of sub­trop­i­cal plants from the Mediter­ranean, South Africa, sub­trop­i­cal Asia, Amer­ica and Ocea­nia, as well as aza­leas, rhodo­den­drons and camel­lias (91 791 4361; isole­bris­sago.ch). At this time of year there is a suc­ces­sion of spring bulbs and you can en­joy the feel­ing of ex­pec­ta­tion in the parts of the gar­den that will come into their own in the sum­mer, whether in the im­pres­sively pro­duc­tive walled gar­den or the rose gar­den. Ro­man­tic con­nec­tions with the Mit­ford fam­ily add to the at­mos­phere and the gar­den is un­der­go­ing a long-term plan of care­ful

To cel­e­brate the move to its new West Sus­sex premises, Ar­chi­tec­tural Plants, one of the UK’s most in­no­va­tive spe­cial­ist nurs­eries, is of­fer­ing one lucky reader the chance to win two VIP tick­ets to its launch party on Thurs­day March 19. The win­ner and im­prove­ments. All in all a pic­ture of ru­ral bliss.

Manor of Dean, Tilling­ton, Pet­worth, West Sus­sex GU28 9AP. Open in aid of the Na­tional Gar­dens Scheme, Sun­day, March 8, 2pm-5pm. Ad­mis­sion £4, chil­dren free. Home­made teas. No coaches. For other open­ing dates, see ngs.org.uk. guest will meet Tom Hart Dyke, au­thor of The Cloud Gar­den. His kid­nap­ping or­deal in the Columbian jun­gle was drama­tised for Sky One. The win­ner will also take home a stunning Ja­panese Ni­waki tree worth £1,800, plus tools and a care set. How to en­ter

Where do Ni­waki trees come from? Email your an­swer to ap@pmw­com. co.uk with name, con­tact info and ad­dress. A win­ner will be drawn at ran­dom. Dead­line is mid­night March 15. For T&Cs, see ar­chi­tec­turalplants.com.

Lovely in Lo­carno: camel­lias are at their best in the mild lake­side cli­mate

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