Magnolias picked from some of the UK’s greatest gardens will arrive in Downing Street today to mark the early arrival of spring to Cornwall.
The bouquet will be presented by growers from six champion Magnolia campbellii trees in Caerhays Castle Gardens, Trebah Garden, Tregothnan, Trewidden, Trewithen and The Lost Gardens of Heligan. Cornish MPs will also join the celebration.
This is the fifth year spring has been declared in this way for Cornwall and the first time a bouquet has been presented to Downing Street to mark the occasion.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“I am delighted these magnificent flowers have been presented to Downing Street from The Great Gardens of Cornwall. Marking the early arrival of spring, they also symbolise the outstanding beauty and growth of Cornwall, one of the UK’s most precious gems.
“A place close to my heart, with its stunning beaches to wooded valleys, Cornwall attracts millions of visitors from across the nation and the world every year.
“I want to see Cornwall, along with the rest of the country, continuing to prosper all year round - bringing more jobs, growth and security for working people.
“That is exactly why as part of our five point tourism plan, we have invested £5 million to boost tourism in the South West to make the area a must-see destination, generating an additional £60 million in visitor spending and creating up to 1,000 jobs.”
Charles Williams, Chairman of the Great Gardens of Cornwall said:
"The moment Cornish Magnolias flower, spring has arrived in England and we are delighted that this year Downing Street is to acknowledge the arrival of Spring in this way.
"Cornwall's magnolias are multi-prize winning and truly stunning. This year the magnolias are particularly early and they are a sight not to be missed.
“We encourage all those interested in seeing gardens in full bloom to come down and see The Great Gardens of Cornwall.”
Sheryll Murray MP added: “I was delighted to join my fellow Cornish MPs and the Great Gardens of Cornwall for a delivery of beautiful magnolias from the Tregothnan estate to No. 10 Downing Street. Growers across the duchy are a vital part of the rural economy. I hope everyone enjoys our early spring blooms and buys local flowers.”
Visit England Director Patricia Yates said:
“It’s always a delight to welcome the spring and particularly so in 2016 as we celebrate The Year of the English Garden.
“Spring is an ideal time to visit Cornwall, home to spectacular gardens from the Eden Project and the Lost Gardens of Heligan, to Fowey’s Headland Garden and Lamorran House Gardens.”