New Year, new snowdrops

Snowdrops growing in a woodland

Early in the New Year as the Hardwick gardens are shaking off the grip of winter the pure white gems of the snowdrops start to appear.

It is widely believed that the first great plant hunters, the Elizabethans, introduced snowdrops to this country. Their true origin, however, can be traced across the world to Southern Russia, Turkey and Southern Europe. Whilst the gardens at Hardwick have been redesigned, many times over since Bess lived here, it is quite possible that Bess would have been acquainted with this delicate and beautiful plant.

The planting of snowdrops in the South Court were originally planted in the shapes of the names of the nieces of the 6th Duke, Blanche, Anne, Dorothy and Maud but unfortunately they have now spread beyond recognition.

Where to find snowdrops at Hardwick

The majority of the snowdrops at Hardwick are clustered in the east and west corners of the South Court. Under the bows of the yews and lime the snowdrops appear to almost glow. Following on from the flowering cyclamen and before the deep purple crocus, the flowering of the snowdrops is a special time of year.