Gunby snowdrops galore

Snowdrops enjoying the winter sunshine

You know spring is around the corner when swathes of snowdrops start to appear in the Gunby gardens and grounds. What's not to love about these pretty white flowers?

Sturdy survivors

Snowdrops at Gunby are mostly the common snowdrop, Galanthus nivalis and the double form Flore Pleno. These snowdrops are often thought to be native to Britain, but actually come from southern Europe. They can be found at many locations around the gardens and grounds, as they are strong survivors that readily take in their stride any changes in a garden. This survival instinct also means that there can sometimes be surprise unrecorded variations in a garden where snowdrops have been grown long-term. Look out too for the relatively recent addition, during Gunby's tenanted times, of the green leaf snowdrop Galanthus ikariae.

Join us for snowdrop walks in February
Snowdrops at Gunby

On the move

The bulk of the common snowdrops have been at Gunby for years, especially those in and around the spring flower walk. Along that walk, with the shade of the old horse chestnut, beech and prunus trees, they are in their element enjoying the natural soil improvement from fallen leaves and moist but free draining ground. Here it is clear that over the last twenty-five years snowdrops have moved into an area where a large beech tree once stood. This was a fully natural movement; some may travelled via seeding, but perhaps also moved through bulb disturbance by animal activity along with mowing and raking by the garden team. 

Snowdrops and winter aconites are thriving under the horse chestnut tree
Snowdrops and aconites under the Gunby horse chestnut tree

February snowdrop walks

By early December snowdrops at Gunby are often just peeping through the ground, protected by a layer of leaf litter. They wait their time to flower depending on how the winter progresses. And whilst some flowers appear during January to accompany the winter aconite, Eranthis hyemalis, the peak of flowering is usually mid-February and its at this time that we'll be hosting our ever-popular guided snowdrop walks.

Join us for a guided snowdrop walk
Walkers on a snowdrop walk

In 2018 from 12 to 18 February at 11:30, join a member of the garden team for a one hour guided walk and talk. Find the familiar and hidden spots where the best snowdrops are blooming. Enjoy uninterrupted vistas across the gardens and parkland as the ground is waking up for spring. Tickets are £3.50 per person (on top of normal admission charge) and can be booked by ringing 01754 890102 or by email. Places are limited so book early to avoid disappointment.

Winter aconites and snowdrops along the spring flower walk
Snowdrops and winter aconites

New snowdrops

Ten years ago the Gunby garden team split and replanted snowdrops in a corner of the Gunby orchard, making use of the preferred movement of the bulbs whilst they are in growth 'in the green'.  Existing large clumps were split and handfuls of bulbs replanted in an area shaded by the pigeon house and the beech hedge. They now brighten this darker, cooler corner which is often a fraction later to flower than those in the south of the gardens.

Gunby snowdrops at sunset
Gunby snowdrops at sunset

Further afield

On your way to the Gunby parish church, St Peter’s, snowdrops can be seen in the hazel copse.  This view changes year on year as the team coppice different areas of the hazel trees for use as pea sticks and bean poles. When you're in the churchyard, there is a good collection of double snowdrops to spot.  

Snowdrops at St Peter's Church
Snowdrops at St Peter's Church

Upcoming events

Gunby Snowdrop Walks

Mon 12 Feb 2018
Discover lots of Gunby snowdrops during a week of guided walks around the gardens and grounds.

Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt

Fri 30 Mar 2018
Hunt for clues in the Gunby gardens with a chocolate egg at the end as a well-deserved prize.

Vote for Emily! Days

Sun 06 May 2018
Join us this May Bank Holiday weekend for re-enactments and fun as we launch our celebration of Gunby heiress and political campaigner Emily Massingberd.

Rose Day

Sun 24 Jun 2018
Enjoy displays of the 40+ rose varieties found in the Gunby gardens as well as trade and craft stalls with lovely wares. Three floors of the house will be open with lots of flower arrangements containing roses in the rooms too.

Gunby National Meadows Day

Sat 07 Jul 2018
Join us on National Meadows Day for a celebration of Gunby's meadows.

Archaeology Day

Sat 21 Jul 2018
Discover hidden depths of Gunby on this special day.