Spring Flower Festival
19 April – 2 May 2021, ONLINE
Over two weeks between 19 April and 2 May we will host a series of online talks, provide tips on caring for your own spring flowers and share gorgeous new photographs as the garden bursts into colour. The income generated by these events supports the maintenance costs of looking after The Hepworth Wakefield Garden.
Follow us on social media using #THWSpringFlowerFestival
We are raising £10,000 to help our Cultural Gardener, Katy Merrington, look after The Hepworth Wakefield Garden.
Any gift, no matter the size, makes a real difference. Please join our campaign by donating here.
Spring Flower Festival stories
Spring Flower Festival films
Spring Flower Festival family activities
Introducing Our Spring Blooms
Narcissus ‘Thalia’ is a classic and elegant old daffodil variety that was bred pre-1916 from Narcissus triandus, it is one of the few daffodils that open out pure white. ‘Thalia’ is a multi-headed, scented daffodil reaching 30cm in height and we have planted these bulbs in their thousands, in distinct clusters throughout the garden.
Tulipa 'Doll's Minuet'
Tulipa ‘Doll’s Minuet’ is a viridiflora type with long-lasting, magenta-pink petals streaked with green. The flowers reach a height of 40cm and ‘Doll’s Minuet’ has a reputation as a reliably perennial tulip. It has been in cultivation since it was first introduced in the 1960’s.
Tulipa 'Rems Favourite'
Tulipa ‘Rems Favourite’ is a modern variety that was introduced at the turn of the millennium and bred to look like a classic Rembrandt tulip, with painterly purple brushstrokes over the white petals. It is a strong and robust cultivar, and we use it at the edge of the flowerbeds where people can appreciate the variation – no two flowers are identical. It is a midseason, triumph type tulip, reaching a height of 50cm.
Tulipa 'Paul Scherer
Tulipa ‘Paul Scherer’ has a classic, egg shaped flower with intense near-black petals and is one of the darkest tulips that you can grow. The flower sits on tall stems above contrasting grey foliage and it is triumph type which flowers slightly later in the season.
Tulipa 'Purple Dream'
Tulipa ‘Purple Dream’ is a lily flowered tulip, in a rich magenta with fluted petals which gradually open into a goblet shape as the flower ages. They reveal an ombre spot of yellow-white in the centre. This tulip is often said to be reliably perennial and would work equally well in pots or in the border, looking particularly striking with the zesty green of our Euphorbia seguieriana.
Tulipa ‘Shirley’ has been popular since its introduction in the 1960s, it is a later flowering, colour-changing variety which opens creamy yellow, but then pales and magically develops a purple edge along the perimeters of the petals, which looks like it has been drawn on in pencil crayon. Lilac spots appear and with no two flowers being the same in pattern, it is a charming tulip to watch evolve.
Tulipa ‘Negrita’ is often celebrated as one of the all-time greatest purple tulips, it is considered a confidently perennial variety with a robust stem and inky veining on the petals, as though colour has been drawn up from within the earth. It has been working its magic in many a garden and pot display since it was first introduced in the 1970s.
Tulipa ‘Fontainebleau’ was introduced in the late nineties and has beautiful blue grey leaves a dark stem and incredible bi-colour petals with a soft roll to the white edges.
Malus ‘Evereste’ is a beautiful variety of crabapple which provides year-round interest in the garden. In spring the leaves open first followed by pink buds which uncurl to reveal white blossom flowers, completely covering these small trees. Throughout the winter the scarlett red crabapples remain on the tree like little baubles shining in the winter weather and providing a vital food resource for our birds when the ground is frozen.
When you look closely at the small blue Scilla siberica flowers they have a remarkable characteristic, as the pollen of Scilla is steely blue in colour. Pollen varies in colour across different flower species and can range from bright yellow and rusty red, through to ochre and green, however blue is quite rare.
Pulmonaria ‘Blue Ensign’
Lungwort is a deciduous perennial which thrives in shady areas. It carpets the ground with bright blue flowers in early springtime and looks beautiful with our hellebores and snowdrops. Lungwort is so named because the leaves are shaped like lungs and the plant was traditionally used to treat diseases of the lungs, with the word ‘Pulmo’ meaning lung in Latin.
Puschkinia scilloides var. libanotica
Puschkinia scilloides var. libanotica is also known as striped squill or Russian snowdrop. Visitors often comment that they look like tiny hyacinths with blue stripes running down the petals. Puschkinia like to be planted in an area where the soil gets spring moisture and summer warmth. We use these bulbs in repeated clusters between our perennials and use them in combination with other groups of Scilla siberica and Scilla luciliae. They prefer a bit of space in their grouping and can be naturalised at the base of hedges, shrubs or trees, where they will bulk up in numbers over time.
Spring Flower Festival Gallery - a selection of new photographs, updated daily, as the garden bursts into colour
Help Katy care for The Hepworth Wakefield Garden
Katy, our Cultural Gardener, looks after our Garden on a daily basis. As a living composition, the Garden requires daily, labour-intensive care and attention to help it grow and develop. Each season brings its own challenges, whether it is cutting back the perennials, lifting, editing and dividing plants, or planting thousands of bulbs. In January 2021, Katy planted over 10,000 snowdrops across the garden. With your help, Katy can ensure the Garden fulfils designer Tom Stuart-Smith’s vision and continues to be a vital, living resource for visitors to The Hepworth Wakefield.
£15 buys 50 tulips
£25 buys 5 bags of mulch
£50 helps care for 4.50m² of the Garden for a year
Any gift, no matter the size, makes a real difference.
Donate now to help maintain The Hepworth Wakefield Garden.
‘The Hepworth Wakefield Garden has been one of the most exciting projects of my working life. It goes to the heart of what I have always wanted to do, to make beautiful places that people can enjoy freely – in every sense of the word; you don’t have to pay to get in, no one is going to tell you to keep off the grass, there are places to wander, to laze in, to sit and chat or simply to look at the plants and sculptures and it’s all done to a really high standard.
By reaching out and taking care of public space in such a wholehearted and creative way, The Hepworth Wakefield is blazing a trail where others will follow. The heavy lifting of the garden making is done, so now the fun bit starts and it is wonderful that in The Hepworth Wakefield’s Cultural Gardener, Katy, you have an inspiring and creative individual to make it all happen. Please give her and The Hepworth Wakefield Garden all the support you can! Thank you.’
Spring Flower Festival - past events
Springtime in The Hepworth Wakefield Garden
Wed 21 April, 6.30pm
In this online talk, The Hepworth Wakefield’s Cultural Gardener, Katy Merrington, discussed the spring planting in our garden, where we have recently planted 60,000 spring flowering bulbs including tulips, snowdrops, scilla and daffodils.
Tom Stuart-Smith & Tim Richardson In Conversation
Tue 27 April, 6.30pm
Designer of The Hepworth Wakefield Garden, Tom Stuart-Smith was joined in conversation with garden historian and journalist, Tim Richardson. During this talk, participants gained an insight into the inspiration and methods behind Stuart-Smith‘s many award-winning gardens across the world.
Matthew Wilson: Making a Garden
Thu 29 April, 6.30pm
A-winning garden and landscape designer, writer, radio and television broadcaster Matthew Wilson joined us to explore the principles of garden design and the range of considerations involved when putting a garden together.
Jason Ingram: Photographing your garden
Sat 1 May, 6.30pm
In this online talk, award-winning photographer Jason Ingram shared his experience of photographing plants and gardens, offering his expertise and tips on how to capture the best photographs of your own garden.