This magnificent magnolia tree finally burst into life in its latest flowering for 25 years – as experts hailed the ”perfect” conditions for a blooming Spring.
The stunning tree erupted into an orgy of bright pink one month late at the National Trust’s Overbeck’s gardens in Salcombe, Devon.
It normally blooms in February but this year’s sharp cold snap saw it delay its flowers until the latest point in the season for a quarter of a century.
Experts say last year’s warm, moist summer followed by a dry autumn and a cold winter have lead to the perfect conditions for the formation of magnolia buds.
Julia Durney, a gardener at Overbeck’s, said: ”Unusual weather last year has combined to create the perfect conditions for flowers to put on a stunning display.
”We’ve had the coldest January for years which has delayed the spring blooms by up to a month.”
Sandra Bell, of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew Gardens, said Britain’s species will be ”more in flower” due to the late spring.
She said: ”In the past decade we have got used to the spring being spread out from December through to May.
”This year it is a couple of months late, but it means there will be so much more in flower at the same time and so much colour and impact in gardens.”
Copies of these wonderful pictures by photographer Stephen Hayward are available from our partners at the Western Morning News.