Snowdrops at Bateman's

Snowdrops growing in the garden

Snowdrops (Galanthus) are a welcome sight that spring is just round the corner and are one of the first signs of life in our gardens, despite the harsh winter frost that still lingers.

A symbol of hope in British folklore, swathes of these delicate white jewels will light up any winter walk. Translating as ‘milk flower’, these little flowers start to appear en masse between late January to March, creating a distinctive white blanket across the grounds.

Enjoy chilly walks in the New Year to spot the early signs of them peeping through as they develop in the masses throughout the Wild Garden.

Where to spot snowdrops in the garden

In early 2020 our gardeners and volunteers began the task of planting thousands of bulbs in the Wild Garden. This included the common snowdrop Galanthus nivalis and Galanthus ‘Flore Pleno’ a double flowered cultivar to complement our existing snowdrop plantings.

Splitting snowdrops
Splitting snowdrops
Splitting snowdrops

You’ll find our best snowdrop displays in the Spring Borders as you walk towards the Rose Garden and the Wild Garden itself, which contains our main spring bulb display.

There you’ll find a of mass spring bulbs of different varieties, colours and flowering times, including various Narcissi, Scillas, Wood Anemones and Snakes Head Fritillaries throughout spring.

Snowdrops in the wild garden at Bateman's
Snowdrops in the wild garden at Bateman's
Snowdrops in the wild garden at Bateman's


Snowdrop facts 

Homes for bees

Bees love snowdrops. They're a vital source of nectar early in the year when not many other plants are in flower. By planting snowdrops, you'll be building on the eco-system this vital species calls home.

Tougher than they look

Their buds have a hard tip that helps them break through frozen soil. The sap also contains a type of anti-freeze which helps them to protect themselves from frost. 

Snowdrops growing along the banks of the River Dudwell
Snowdrops growing along the banks of the River Dudwell
Snowdrops growing along the banks of the River Dudwell

What are the origins of snowdrops?

Their true origin can be traced across the world to Southern Russia, Turkey and Southern Europe. It is widely believed that the first great plant hunters, the Elizabethans, introduced them to this country.