Small, but perfectly formed, snowdrops are one of the delights to be seen on a winter walk at the RHS Gardens
It’s always exciting to see the first snowdrops (Galanthus) peeping through the earth on a walk around the garden in winter. These much-loved blooms are a welcome sign that spring is on the way. There are plenty of snowdrops to be found at the RHS Gardens...
Take a late winter stroll through the Woodland at RHS Garden Harlow Carr to see large swathes of the common snowdrop Galanthus nivalis lighting up the woodland floor. 90,000 bulbs were planted here in recent years and the result is quite spectacular.
Along the Winter Walk, look out for early favourites such as Galanthus ‘Castlegar’, a large-flowering cultivar of Irish origin, which reliably flowers in December, and tall and elegant Galanthus elwesii ‘Mrs Macnamara’. There are new snowdrop plantings to discover around the lily pond near the garden entrance too.
Head into the Alpine House to warm up among our pick of seasonal alpine plants, including snowdrops and Primula allionii, one of the earliest primroses to flower.
Carpeting the banks of Hyde Hall’s Winter Garden are drifts of snowdrop Galanthus elwesii, with its large, pristine white flowers and glaucous foliage. 15,000 bulbs were originally planted in 2017 and have now multiplied to give an impressive display. The Winter Garden is a feast for the senses, bursting with colour from radiant stems, bark and evergreens in the coldest months, and full of fragrance from winter-flowering shrubs.
Elsewhere in the garden, there are 18 different snowdrop cultivars to spot, including Galanthus ‘S. Arnott’ and ‘Magnet’, both prized for their large, well-balanced blooms. While around the Upper Pond, a cheerful mix of snowdrops, crocus and winter aconites are an uplifting sight in late winter.
At RHS Garden Wisley, enjoy generous drifts of Galanthus nivalis on Battleston Hill and in Oakwood. In recent years, the team have been lifting and dividing this favourite bulb to create carpets of white flowers that flow through the woodland areas. There are further patches of snowdrops to seek out around the Rock Garden and Winter Walk.
In the Alpine Display House, admire a selection of rare and unusual snowdrops in pots. Presented in raised beds, it’s a perfect opportunity to get a closer look at their diminutive blooms and delicate markings. The display is refreshed every day from a collection of around 250 Galanthus cultivars, so there is always something special to see.
Discover more stars of the season along Wisley’s Winter Walk. Breathe in the sweet perfume of the honeysuckle Lonicera fragrantissima, and enjoy the vibrant stems of dogwoods (Cornus) in fiery shades of red, orange and yellow. Follow the self-guided route around the walk to find even more seasonal wonders.