We have visited the arboretum at Arley on the banks of the River Severn several times over the years as it is our local arboretum, but we had never explored it in May. Thus, when the easing of lockdown rules happened, we arranged to meet our sister Penny and brother-in-law Tony at coffee time in readiness for an enjoyable wander along the pathways between and beneath the trees.
Just a few minutes into our walk brightly coloured azaleas and rhododendrons gave us a lively patch of colour beneath tall mature trees.
These subtle two-toned yellow and white daffodils reminded us it was really still spring. We wandered along the path at the edge of the arboretum as it skirted the Severn Valley where we heard the sounds of the vintage railway and saw early diesel engines pulling their rows of vintage carriages following on along the valley side.
This darkly barked betula was a strong contrast to a nearby whitebeam. We saw the bright white bracts of Cornus kousa Eddies White wonder from a distance and wandered over for a close look – so beautiful.
The spring colour of the fresh foliage of Acer brilliantissima gave little brightness to the dull day.
We left the main arboretum plantings and entered the more formal areas consisting of colourful mixed borders.
Back near the cafe polytunnels were home to more delicate plants, aeoniums, pelargoniums and echeveria. This oriental bloom livened up an old brick wall and deserved a close up look. We had a very colourful end to our tree orientated day.