magnolia_sargentiana.jpgOne of our volunteers, Inez, is in her final year at Writtle College. Her dissertation will be on the history, design and future maintenance of our “water garden” valley. This area, to the south west of the main garden, was at this time the “Pleasure grounds” since the rest of the garden was currently woodland.

Several images have been uncovered as part of this project, with one being of a Magnolia sargentiana photographed in April 1932 (below) when first in flower. Little would George Johnstone and Jack Skilton (Trewithen’s first head gardener who worked here for 65 of his 78 year life) know how the tree would have grown into the champion it is today (right)!

Magnolia sargentiana 1931