Don’t miss visiting a snowdrop display this winter. Even after a mild winter, their delicate blooms always manage to lift the spirits.
Here’s a selection of gardens opening for special snowdrop days. There are plenty of others to choose from. Check your local press, or organisations such as the National Gardens Scheme or the National Trust also list events
28 January to 11 March, daily (except Mondays), 12 noon – 4pm. £4 adults, £3 seniors, £1 children 5-15
Gardens open for snowdrop walks.Tel 01270 873237, www.rhodehall.co.uk
Scholar Green, Cheshire ST7 3QP
Scottish Snowdrop Festival
4 February to 18 March
Over 50 gardens across Scotland are taking part in the festival giving visitors the opportunity to enjoy around 300 different types of snowdrop. Many of the participating castles and stately homes will also open their doors for the occasion. Visit Scotland has a full list of properties.
4-5, 11-12, 18-19, 25-26 February, 11am-4pm, £5
The many acres of woodland and lakeside gardens are carpeted white for several weeks early in the year. The delightful and extensive gardens of Chippenham Park provide an enchanting setting for this magnificent seasonal panorama. There is also much else of winter-interest, such as fiery dogwoods, aconites and winter blossoms.
Tel, 01638 720221, www.chippenhamparkgardens.info
Ely, Cambridgeshire CB7 5PT
5, 9, 12 and 19 February, £6, 11am-4pm
Wander through the woodland to enjoy the display of snowdrops. Take part in the photograph competition, capturing the beauty of Hedingham’s snowdrop and you could win a season ticket to the castle.
Tel 01787 460261, wwwhedinghamcastle.co.uk
Castle Hedingham, Essex CO9 3DJ
11-12th and 18-19th February, 11am-3pm both weekends. £3
Two weekend openings to see the snowdrops that fill the Oak Walk. The weekends also include an art collective exhibition of sculpture, painting, photography, illustration and artwork for sale and display from Fine Cell Work, a social enterprise that trains prisoners in creative needlework.
Tel 01604 686543, www.kelmarsh.com
Kelmarsh, Northampton NN6 9LY
11-19 February, 10.30am-5pm, £12 (garden only), £10.50 seniors, £7.80 children
Follow the snowdrop trail around the garden to enjoy the snowdrops plus early blossoms of camellia and quince.
Tel 01732 865224, www.hevercastle.co.uk
Nr Edenbridge, Kent TN8 7NG
Enjoy a double dose of blooms with snowdrops and early irises in flower at this recently stored garden, created by renowned plantsman EA Bowles. Head gardener Andrew Turvey leads two guided walk at 11am and 2pm (£3.50, bookable in advance). In the afternoon the British Iris Society Early Spring Show highlights some of the early award-winning irises for which Myddelton is famous.
Tel 08456 770600, www.leevalleypark.org.uk
Enfield, Middlesex EN2 9HG
18-19 and 25-26 February, 10am-5pm. £4.30
More than 30 snowdrop varieties carpet the ornamental gardens and a new snowdrop valley area. Free guided tours at 11am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm each day.
Tel 01844 339254, www.waterperrygardens.co.uk
Nr. Wheatley, Oxfordshire OX33 1JZ
Harveys Garden Plants snowdrop lecture and visit
20 February, 9.30am start, £50 inc lunch
For the galanthophile - A lecture by Valentin Wijnen a well known galanthophile from Belgium on ‘Yellow Snowdrops and My Findings’. This will be his first lecture in the UK and Valentin will bring rare snowdrops for sale from his collection of over 600 species and cultivars. In the afternoon a visit to Chippenham Park Snowdrop Wood. Rare species and cultivars from Harveys Garden Plants Collection will also be on display and for sale.
Booking in advance essential.
Tel 01359 233363, www.harveysgardenplants.co.uk
Thurston, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP31 3SJ
Please check with each garden before travelling to an event as weather conditions may mean that a snowdrop opening needs to be postponed or perhaps even cancelled.
• see issue 183 for a feature on a garden in Ireland, home to some more unusual Irish snowdrop cultivars. In the same issue you'll also find our Who's Who profile on plantsman Dr Grimshaw renowned for his snowdrop expertise at Colesbourne Park, plus pretty early spring combinations at Gable House in Suffolk.