What's looking good now
Hellebores, Pulmonaria (lungwort), cyclamen bring plenty of interest to the woodland floor, and up above, camellias bloom from November through to May. Furry buds of magnolias slowly break to reveal star- and goblet-shaped blooms in pink, white and yellow in March and April.
Plants of particular note
Perhaps the thing that Battleston Hill is most known for is the flamboyant burst of colour that reaches a climax in April and May. Rhododendrons… hundreds of them. Dazzling from a distance, full of intricate beauty up close. From the depths of December Rhododendron dauricum tackles the winter blues, and in the main season R. yakushimanum hybrids (pictured right) steal the show.
In May, Toona sinensis ‘Flamingo’ comes to life with bright pink leaves, and Davidia involucrata lives up to its name of the handkerchief tree. Eucalyptus trees show off their multi-coloured, peeling bark at the top of the hill, with birches and maples among the most striking trees for their bark – some glossy, some shaggy.