Everything is a bit late but it's not a case of ‘better late than never' but rather because it's late it's better!

Trewithen's first Magnolia bloom has just opened, 37 days later than in recent years. The spring flowers are also about four to six weeks behind schedule, leading Trewithen's gardening experts to believe it will be an ‘old-fashioned' text book spring, the best possible result for all those visiting Trewithen and the county's other gardens.

Cornwall is always a few weeks ahead of the rest of the country because of the mild climate and as Trewithen re-opens to the public on Sunday (March 1) visitors will be treated to a gloriously colourful display – a preview of what the rest of the country will experience soon.

"As far as flowering plants go it's going to be the best spring in decades simply because of the late start," said Trewithen Head Gardener, Gary Long.

He added: "Our seedling Magnolia campbellii subsp.mollicomata tree, located above the cock pit, is the first magnolia to flower in the garden. Its first flower has consistently shown colour between the 19th and 21st of January every year for the last 6 years. This year, with the winter actually being cold, its first show of colour appeared on 26 February, 37 days later than usual."

Because of the sudden change in the behaviour of Trewithen's plants Gary has decided to start a Phenology – a list of plants' first events – for example first bud, leaf, flower, fruit and leaf drop. He has always chronicled the annual development of the magnolia, but this year he has extended his list to include 20 species including camellia, oak trees, daffodils, Japanese maple and wild garlic. A diverse range whose activity covers the whole year.