Spring through the lens at Stowe
Move out of the way winter and put a spring in your step with bright days reflecting rays across the glittering lakes, the chatter of birdsong filling the air and crisp breezes that take your breath away on refreshing walks in the garden and park.
Stowe comes to life in spring, from the thousands of bulbs shooting through to bloom to the countless young animals being born, there's lots to enjoy on a spring saunter in the gardens and park. It's the season to be brave and throw aside the winter coat and embrace April showers - no matter what month it is. We'll be open daily this spring, 10am-5pm midweek and 9am-5pm at weekends.
Can you help us chart the spring season at Stowe?
This spring we'd like to chart the season as it emerges and we're asking our visitors to help us do this by sharing their photos with us. From newborn lambs, the spring flowers appearing or trees and hedges filling with blossom - share your photo with us and we'll create a live map of spring highlights. If you're happy to share your snaps of spring at Stowe with us, please post your photo with #SpringatStowe on any social media channel you use or email them to us.
Your photo may then be shared with our visitors on our website, social media and onsite to help others find the current spring highlights on their visit. Check back to see if your photo has featured in our 'Captured on camera' gallery below.
- We cannot share photos featuring people so nature, views and wildlife only please
- Landscape photos work best
- If you share your photos with us you must be happy for us to re-share them on our social media accounts, website and onsite at Stowe
- Photos will be credited to you using your first name and initial of your surname unless you request otherwise
Use our 'Captured on Camera' gallery to help plan your spring visit to Stowe and download a map so you know where to head.
Captured on camera
The snake's head fritillaries are putting on a fantastic display along Gurnet's Walk. These nodding, pink-and-purple-chequered flowers are said to resemble a snake, hence the name.
Carpets of white
Sun-loving, gentle, and a mark of old - look out for the star-shaped flowers of these wood anemones around the garden at the moment, particularly in the Grecian Valley, around the Hermitage, and on the edge of Sleeping Wood.
Wildlife thrives on blossom
Blossom is an important food for insects coming out of hibernation. This bumble bee was enjoying the pollen on the almond blossom in the New Inn courtyard. Take a moment on your daily walks to look out for birds, butterflies and bees enjoying the blossom trees near you - #BlossomWatch.
A sign that spring has arrived
Cuckooflowers, also commonly known as 'Lady's smock', have been spotted in the historic orchard at Stowe, on the edge of the Grecian Valley. They are thought to coincide with the arrival of the first cuckoo - a sure sign that spring has arrived at last.
The magnificent crown imperials are appearing around the garden. Look out for them in the Elysian Fields, Grecian Valley and Sleeping Wood. The brightly coloured downward facing flowers are topped by a 'crown' of small leaves, hence the name.
This honeybee was spotted on the box hedge flowers which are really important for pollinators like the bees. You can see how much pollen it's collected on its legs.
The blossom is really beginning to bloom across the garden, parkland and around New Inn. Look out for this wild plum blossom in the Grecian Valley and share your photos of blossom using #BlossomWatch.
Down by the water's edge
Bringing a splash of colour to the water's edge are these marsh marigolds in Lamport garden. These yellow buttercup-like flowers are at their best in April so make sure you look out for them on your next visit.
Over the past few years we've been busily planting bulbs. Altogether, a whopping 338,200 bulbs were planted – some of which now can be enjoyed.
Here are just a few spring blooms to encourage your curiosity and look out for as the season develops:
As you stroll down the historic entrance to the gardens, look to the outer paths for a new meadow of bluebells. The best ones can be found in the dell opposite the Sleeping Wood
Scilla bloom up by the Grotto within the Elysian Fields, famously designed by artist, architect and landscape gardener William Kent
Turk’s Head Tulips are an eighteenth-century spring bulb and can be found by the Temple of Concord and Victory
Old varieties of daffodils look splendid between Grenville’s Column and Stowe House
Discover Wood and Blue anemones in the Sleeping Wood
Snakeshead fritillaries were added to existing spots down Gurnet's Walk by the sleeping wood. This'll make a rare delicate meadow as often this flower pops up in lonely occurrences
A bright display of Tulips will surround the Chinese House
" I love Stowe in the spring. Wildflowers start to bloom, including forget-me-not, celandine and buttercups. Keep your eyes open for pollinating insects such as bees and early butterflies. The yellow brimstone is said to have inspired the name ‘butterfly’ because of its wing colour. Around Concord and Victory and in the Elysian Fields the beds start to come alive with flower amongst the newly emerged foliage. The beds around Pebble Alcove contain many cherries with their delicate pink flowers, and throughout the garden the white candlestick flowers of the Cherry Laurel impress. The orchard along Laurel Terrace has numerous ancient trees and is one of my favourite places to spend a while. The blossom of the apple trees is stunning, as well as the soundscape of bees and bird song. "
Walk along the winding paths and take in the monumental scale of the trees as they start bursting into life with fresh leaves. Carefully crafted views frame the monuments and provide glimpses of the lakes as you meander through the gardens. When you least expect it, they'll be a sudden burst of blossom! Tree species are interspersed to create light and shade at Stowe, unlike formal gardens where you might see an en masse of colour. These selected bursts of a singular moment allow you to enjoy the spectacle of the season against the backdrop of the temples. Keep an eye out on our social media channels and share your photos of #blossomwatch.
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Through the lens
A photographer's dream, it's easy to find an inspiring view when you visit Stowe. From monumental temples to nature's beauty, share your snaps with us on Instagram.