Top spots for snowdrops
Snowdrops are the first bulbs to bloom and show signs of life after the winter months, flowering between January and March. Creating carpets of white, these delicate plants are a reminder that spring will soon be on its way.
‘It’s always a joy when the first snowdrops break through the frozen ground,’ says Jonny Bass, head gardener at Mottisfont. ‘Along with aconites and primroses, they are the harbingers of spring.’
You’ll find beautiful snowdrop displays in woodlands and on river banks and they’re a much-loved sight in gardens too. To help you spot them we’ve chosen some of our best places for snowdrops from stunning bulb meadows to Britain’s largest winter garden.
The gardens at Anglesey Abbey boast 320 different varieties of snowdrop (including 20 discovered there) scattered across 114 acres. Meander along the paths for fabulous displays dotted across the gardens. The Winter Garden – designed with plants that give winter colour and fragrance – also bursts with life at this time of year.
The Argory has a stunning display of snowdrops and other beautiful spring bulbs throughout February. Follow the trails through this spectacular wooded riverside estate on the banks of the River Blackwater and you’ll be rewarded with blankets of delicate flowers which are sure to put a spring in your step.
Discover the swathes of snowdrops that carpet the woodland floor of Attingham Park during the early months of the year. Stroll around the estate’s beautiful parkland which lies alongside the River Tern and close to the River Severn to see dustings of these small but elegant flowers.
Snowdrops are one of the many annual floral highlights of Chirk Castle’s award-wining garden. Glimpses of the bulb can be found throughout the garden, scattered between clipped yews, herbaceous borders, shrub and rock gardens, and the flowers are particularly special in the wooded pleasure ground.
The seven-acre winter garden at Dunham Massey, designed with the help of acclaimed British gardener Roy Lancaster OBE, is the largest of its kind in Britain. Since the garden opened in 2009 over 200,000 double and single bloom snowdrops have been planted which create a shimmering carpet of white from late December to early February.
The dramatic abbey ruins, extensive parkland and elegant water garden of this World Heritage Site are a paradise for outdoor and nature lovers. Snowdrop displays are a legacy left by Earl de Grey who planted the flowers along the backs of the River Skell when he owned the estate during the 19th century.
Kingston Lacy welcomes glistening displays of snowdrops each January and February when thousands of the bulbs burst through the soil, transforming the garden into a sea of tiny blooms. February is a particularly good month to see the white flowers adorning the Fernery and along Lady’s Walk.
Snowdrops thrive along the banks of the Font stream, where the warmer water creates a microclimate that teases the flowers into bloom earlier than their companions in cooler corners of the riverside garden. Mottisfont is also home to our newest winter garden, designed to showcase plants that are at their best in the colder months.
Nymans is famed for its amazing collection of rare and important plants and the bulb meadow in the walled garden is full of snowdrops and early narcissus. By Valentine’s Day over 150 different types of plant are flowering with snowdrops offering cool contrasts to blooms such as the fiery orange of witch hazel.
As well as the common variety Wallington’s snowdrop displays include a few special ones such as ‘Sandersii’ which has sulphur yellow markings instead of green and ‘Flore Pleno’ – found in the East Woods – which has double the amount of petals. Don’t forget to visit the winter garden where purple Iris will brighten up any winter day.