The Walled Gardens of Cannington Celebrate Magnolia Flowering

One of the highlights of the year at The Walled Gardens of Cannington is the flowering of the hybrid Magnolia campbellii, a cerise pink, which charts the arrival of spring.


Magnolia campbelli is named after the Scottish botanist Dr. Archibald Campbell, who discovered it in the Himalayas. It is mainly found in large gardens in the milder south and west of the country. With such a warm winter this year, the Gardens will expect a real treat with the nearly 20 metre specimen.


The Gardens recently welcomed Michael Snellgrove - the man who planted the rarely cultivated in the UK tree, in the late 1960s, when he worked as a propagator/demonstrator at the Somerset Farm Institute (where The Walled Gardens of Cannington and Cannington Priory is now located). Michael then went on to become the Head Gardener for the Walled Gardens, before leaving to work as the Principal of a Gardening Advice Centre for the National Trust for Scotland in Edinburgh.


Claire Prangley, Gardener at The Walled Gardens of Cannington said, “I am from Cornwall, so the Magnolia campbellii reminds me of home. It is one of the first indicators that spring has arrived. It has such a magnificent, eye-catching flower, I look forward to seeing it every year. To meet the person who planted the tree here in The Walled Gardens back in 1960s was an unexpected pleasure.”


Michael said, “There were many new additions to the Gardens around this time, including collections of Sorbus, Ceanothus, Tilia, Eucalyptus, and Mahonia. I enjoyed looking around the Gardens on my visit, especially the Botanical Glasshouse and meeting the members of staff and former students who now work at Bridgwater College.”

Magnolia Flowering