Gunby snowdrops galore

Snowdrops enjoying the winter sunshine

It soon will be the time 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
Join us for snowdrop walks in February

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
Snowdrops and winter aconites are thriving under the horse chestnut tree

Early signs of spring

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.

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

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
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
Snowdrops at St Peter's Church

Snowdrop Walk Week

From 11 to 15 February join us for a week of snowdrop walks. There will be one-hour guided walks at 11am for five days. On the walks you'll find all the spots where Gunby's many snowdrops are blooming. Warm up in the tea-room with a hot drink and some cake, which is included in the price. The walks are £9 per adult and £6 per child. Booking is essential on gunbyhall@nationaltrust.org.uk or 01754 890102.

Upcoming events

'Here and Now' - Vivica

Thu 20 Jun 2019
11:00-17:00
From 1 to 30 June enjoy the exhibition 'Here and Now' by art collective 'Vivica'. Vivica are a group of four practising artists working in diverse fields of the visual arts.

Midsummer Music Room Recital

Thu 20 Jun 2019
19:30-21:30
Enjoy an evening filled with music by Ana Elena Gheba on piano and Diana Amelian on violin, who are back by popular demand after their sold-out concert in 2018. This year we also welcome Maria Ionela Gheba on violin for her debut at Gunby.

National Day of Stitch

Sat 22 Jun 2019
11:00-17:00
Come and meet the members of Boston Embroiderer's Guild as they celebrate and share their love of stitching on the 'National Day of Stitch'.

Rose Day

Sun 23 Jun 2019
11:00-17:00
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.

'Temporal Echoes' - Gudrun Ståhl Sharpley

Mon 01 Jul 2019
11:00-17:00
'Temporal Echoes' is a vibrant exhibition by local artist Gudrun Ståhl Sharpley. Visit it in Orchard Gallery from 1 to 31 July.

Gunby National Meadows Days

Sat 06 Jul 2019
11:00-17:00
Join us on 6 and 7 July to celebrate National Meadows Day. Enjoy free one hour trailer rides through the Gunby parkland to find out more about the importance of meadows and how we look after them.