Where to Find Spring Flowers in Shrewsbury
From around the middle of February Shrewsbury begins to bloom. This route through the town centre shows you where to see spring flowers on and off the beaten track. The plants described flower variously from February to about mid April. Although you may not see everything described at the same time, you can return to Shrewsbury time and time again in different seasons and enjoy the changing palette of flowers, shrubs and trees.
There are regular train services to Shrewsbury from all over the UK. If you are travelling by car the nearest car park is Raven Meadows or use the Park & Ride service from Harlescott – buses drop off outside the station.
From the railway station walk up the hill towards the town centre via Castle Gates. You will see the Research Library on your right. Walk through the archway to the lawn and shrub beds. Within the shrubs beds are the highly fragrant shrubs Philadelphus (Mock Orange). Why not sit on one of the benches and take in the scent. When walking back towards the arch glance up to your right and you will see a Magnolia Graniflora with large white flowers. Walk through the arch and turn right back onto Castle Gates.
Walk up the hill to the lawns and shrub bed of the library gardens on your right. Walk up the steps to the statue of Charles Darwin. The great naturalist and author of The Origin of Species was born in Shrewsbury and attended school in this building. If you stand to the front of the statue and look to your right you will see prostrate conifers, and some small variegated shrubs called Euonymus Emerald and Gold . In the far corner is a large evergreen shrub with yellow flowers - Mahonia Bealei and further round is another evergreen shrub covered with white snowball flowers. This is Viburnum Tinus. The shrub bed in foreground features Bergenias, Berberis, and Viburnum.
Opposite the library is the main entrance to Shrewsbury Castle. The shrubs on the right of the long drive contain mostly spring flowering shrubs including Rhododendrons, Azaleas, and Pieris. On the left the flower beds contain seasonal bulbs and bedding plants changing according to season.
The shrub bed on the left as you walk through the arched castle gates is a mass of colour in the spring as it contains early flowering Camelias Magnolias and Rhododendrons.
The shrub bed to the front of you contains spring flowering Prunus, Corylus Contorta, Phormiums, Magnolia Strllata Viburnums.
Within the grounds are the motte of the Norman Castle built within a few years of William the Conqueror’s victory at Hastings, and the sandstone Great Hall of Edward I's reign. The Castle now houses the Shropshire Regimental Museum.
Head up to Laura’s Tower to look down on all this colour.
Continuing your journey towards the town centre the street bears around to the left to reach St Mary's Church. In churchyard are Prunus Subhirtells Autumnalis trees which flower from late November through to April. The church itself incorporates late Norman, medieval and Victorian architecture and is well worth visiting for its stunning stained glass windows.
Crossing the road from St Mary’s and taking the next right turn you will see. St Alkmund's Church. In this, the medieval heart of town, you will see a selection of spring flowering shrubs as you walk around the churchyard. Amongst the graves is an area of spring blooming wild flowers. The body of St. Alkmund’s was rebuilt in the 18th century. Notice the iron framed windows, cast at nearby Coalbrookdale.
Leave St. Alkmund’s Place by the alleyway between St. Alkmund’s Church and St. Julian's Church (with the square tower). On your left you will find St Julians detached church yard, a secluded space which has been re-landscape and contains a large number of spring flowering shrubs.
Continue along this passage way down the steps onto High Street.
Opposite is the entrance to Milk Street . Walk along Milk Street for about 25 metres to reach Old St Chads churchyard. To enter the churchyard bear right in to Princess Street walk about 20 meters and bear left and follow the road round and on the left you will see the entrance to Old St Chad’s Churchyard. The Lady Chapel is all that remains of one of Shrewsbury's earliest churches. The church collapsed in 1788 and a new church was built by The Quarry. With its daffodils and collection of spring flowering trees and shrubs, this area has the feel of an historic cathedral close.
Exit the churchyard by the same entrance and continue walking along College Hill. At the junction bear left onto Swan Hill and continue to the crossroads. Many of the historic buildings along this street are decorated with hanging baskets in spring and summer. At the crossroads turn right onto St Chads Terrace towards the distinctive church of St Chads, the largest round nave in England. The churchyard is a conservation garden with some unusual plants and shrubs. An unusual feature of a different kind is Scrooge’s grave – left behind from the filming of Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’ in 1984.
Opposite the church you will see the main entrance gates to The Quarry, Shrewsbury’s 29 acre park. As you enter the park look upto the roof of the lodge on the right to see the flower decoration on its gable. It is the headquarters of Shropshire Horticultural Society, organisers of Shrewsbury Flower Show. Head past the War Memorial and to your left to a gateway in the hedged enclosure. This is a spectacular sunken garden called The Dingle. In the Dingle is an area of formal bedding which contains approximately thirty two thousand seasonal bedding plants and bulbs. The rest of the area is laid out with water features and numerous shrubs, beds and trees. No matter what time of the year you visit the Dingle there is always some seasonal colour there. Many people think it is at its prettiest in the spring.
Our route ends here in The Dingle but in early spring a longer walk down to the riverside and along the towpath rewards with the sight of thousands of daffodils.
Route prepared by Destination Shrewsbury and Public Amenities sections of Shrewsbury & Atcham Borough Council.