First look: World's largest hyacinth collection in Waterbeach

A montage of pictures from Alan Shipp's hyacinth collection open weekend, 2022

Alan Shipp's hyacinth collection in Waterbeach - the world's largest - is in bloom - Credit: Terry Harris

Spring has sprung, which means only one thing in Waterbeach: the world's largest hyacinth collection has opened. 

The one acre field is adorned with beautiful hyacinths in a rainbow of colours.

Eleanor Little, aged 18 months, at Alan Shipp's annual hyacinth open weekend

Eleanor Little, aged 18 months, at Alan Shipp's annual hyacinth open weekend - Credit: Terry Harris

Pumpkin, a four-month-old puppy, at the Hyacinth open weekend, Waterbeach

Pumpkin, aged four months, at the Hyacinth open weekend, Waterbeach - Credit: Terry Harris

The fresh smells and spring sunshine are proving 'a delight' for visitors this Mother's Day weekend. 

The collection is the world's largest and rivals European collections of the flower, with between 240-250 different sorts. 

Renowned Hyacinthus Orientalis expert, Alan Shipp, 79, gave visitors a warm welcome to his pride and joys.

Alan Shipp, 79

Alan Shipp, aged 79 - Credit: Terry Harris

Alan Shipp, aged 79, is a renowned Hyacinthus Orientalis expert

Alan Shipp, aged 79, is a renowned Hyacinthus Orientalis expert - Credit: Terry Harris

Alan Shipp, 79, holds his annual hyacinth open weekend to let members of the public admire his collection in bloom

Alan Shipp, 79, holds his annual hyacinth open weekend to let members of the public admire his collection in bloom - Credit: Terry Harris

He said: "We anticipated quite a number of people, more than usual as there is a pent-up demand. We planned for good numbers as the weather forecast has been very good.

"Our national collection is the world's largest. One of the conditions of having a collection is that you open it to the public.

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"We've got small perennials for sale, ample free parking. Visitors can come in, wander where you wish among the flowers."

A pretty springtime scene in Waterbeach

A pretty springtime scene in Waterbeach - Credit: Terry Harris

Amilia, aged 9, and Mhairi, aged 4, check out the hyacinths at Alan Shipp's farm in Waterbeach

Amilia, aged 9, and Mhairi, aged 4, check out the hyacinths at Alan Shipp's farm in Waterbeach - Credit: Terry Harris

At Alan Shipp's annual hyacinth open weekend in Waterbeach, 2022

At Alan Shipp's annual hyacinth open weekend in Waterbeach, 2022 - Credit: Terry Harris

Alan Shipp, aged 79, opens his collection of hyacinths up to visitors - younger and older - when they are in bloom

Alan Shipp, aged 79, opens his collection of hyacinths up to visitors - younger and older - when they are in bloom - Credit: Terry Harris

The collection features unique hyacinths which are yet to be named and three types from the 1700s! 

The event began on Saturday, March 26. Admission is £3. The postcode is CB25 9QQ.

Pumpkin, a four-month-old puppy, at the Hyacinth open weekend, Waterbeach

Well-behaved Pumpkin at the Hyacinth open weekend, Waterbeach - Credit: Terry Harris

A destination fit for Instagram - the world's largest collection of hyacinths in Waterbeach

A destination fit for Instagram - the world's largest collection of hyacinths in Waterbeach - Credit: Terry Harris

Close-up: One of thousands of plants in Alan's collection

Close-up: One of thousands of plants in Alan's collection - Credit: Terry Harris

What a sight! Alan Shipp, aged 79, has the world's largest collection of hyacinths which have bloomed this month

What a sight! Alan Shipp, aged 79, has the world's largest collection of hyacinths which have bloomed this month - Credit: Terry Harris