Many RHS Partner Gardens have snowdrop collections to brighten up the dull days of late winter. We've rounded up a few gardens where you can enjoy delightful carpets of these cheerful favourites
Due to Coronavirus, many gardens require pre-booking before visiting. Please always check with the garden first, as opening days and times may change, and gardens may be closed at short notice. Facilities such as catering and play areas may also be affected.
Great Comp Garden, Sevenoaks
Great Comp Garden is planning to host their Snowdrop Sensation on Sunday 21 February 2021. This special event will showcase a wide selection of snowdrops and spring-flowering bulbs from specialist nurseries. The plant fair will run from 10am – 2pm and prebooking is essential this year. The garden and The Old Dairy Tearoom will be open until 4pm. Great Comp Garden is usually closed in February so the Snowdrop Fair is a rare opportunity to see fine displays of snowflakes and hellebores when they are at their peak.
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Burton Agnes Hall Gardens, East Yorks
Every February, millions of hardy Galanthus nivalis push through the cold winter ground to create a magnificent white carpet across the woodland floor at Burton Agnes Hall Gardens. The snowdrop walk makes a memorable day out at the end of winter.
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East Lambrook Manor Gardens, Somerset
Throughout February 2021 the garden will be celebrating the genus Galanthus with its third Festival of Snowdrops. Delight in the spectacular snowdrops growing in East Lambrook’s famous Ditch and in the special displays staged to allow many of its collection of more than 150 varieties to be viewed at close quarters. Other small bulbs flowering alongside include Crocus tommasinnianus and Eranthis hyemalis; Helleborus x hybridus abound and Sarcococca hookeriana and Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ scent the air in the Terraces. Sculptor Chris Kampf will be exhibiting his popular steel snowdrops, and snowdrop tours will take place if the pandemic permits. More than 70 varieties of snowdrop will be for sale in the nursery.
Book online via eastlambrook.com where up to date information relating to Covid-19 and snowdrop tours is available.
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Dyffryn Gardens, Vale of Glamorgan
See snowdrops from December through to March, though the greatest display appears from early February. Throughout the garden there are massed plantings of Galanthus elwesii and G. nivalis as well as a number of cultivars that match the period of the garden. In the garden, bulbs, shrubs and pot displays complement the seasonal change. More bulbs are added each year and left to naturalise around the garden. Specialist collections may be found in the glasshouse.
Bodnant Garden, Conwy
Over the past decade, gardeners have planted hundreds of thousands of snowdrops at Bodnant Garden. Unusual varieties can be found in the Winter Garden, and there is a trail of common snowdrops, Galanthus nivalis, running from the Old Park meadow through the woodland garden to The Far End.
In February the scent of late winter-flowering shrubs such as Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’, Sarcococca confusa, and many varieties of Hamamelis fills the air. The first Camellia williamsii bloom and, if the season is mild, the grand old Magnolia campbellii subsp. mollicomata may be in flower on the Terraces – it's usually one of the first to flower. Enjoy the sight of lilac Rhododendron praecox everywhere and many colourful Helleborus x hybridus all around the garden.
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Hever Castle & Gardens, Kent
The Snowdrop Walk launches the 2021 gardening season at Hever Castle & Gardens. Visitors have the chance to see 90,000 snowdrops throughout the grounds from beside the outer moat, meandering along Sunday Walk and drifting into Church Walk. We’re encouraging everyone to explore the woodland walks and enjoy the sight of a host of snowdrops in bloom close to the famous Castle and childhood home of Anne Boleyn.
Discover the delights of a late winter walk through drifts of snowdrops from 10 February.
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Chippenham Park Gardens, Ely, Cambs
The 40-acre formal and woodland gardens are set around large lakes and ancient canals and boast spectacular displays of snowdrops and aconites in February, a succession of hellebores, cyclamen, Dutch iris and deliciously scented daphnes and viburnums building to a crescendo of daffodils later in the season.
In February and March, Chippenham Park is resplendent with Dutch iris, scillas, grape hyacinths, the sweet scent of daphnes and among the best winter plantings are Betula utilis jacquemontii, an assortment of hellebores and the colourful stems of Cornus sanguinea and C. stolonifera.
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The Lovell Quinta Arboretum, Cheshire
Scattered drifts of snowdrops pepper the walks through Lovell Quinta Arboretum in February or early March when the crisp outline of the many deciduous trees a variety of striking conifers can be seen.
At the entrance to the arboretum the double snowdrop Galanthus nivalis ‘Flore Pleno’ blooms. Beyond are fine speciments of Mahonia japonica and Camellia sasanqua ‘Fukuzutsumi’. Groups of the single snowdrop Galanthus nivalis have naturalised and makes up most of the snowdrop planting including clusters near the lake. Here too is the very early pink Rhododendron sutchuenense.
Veteran oaks, each more than 300 years old, a copse of silver birch and fine conifers including Cryptomeria japonica ‘Elegans’ with a colour that deepens to purple in winter put on a glorious display. Head towards the recently developed Winter Walk and you’ll see the creamy mottled branches of Eucalyptus perriniana as well as Cornus, Salix and Betula beneath which recently planted snowdrops bloom. Today more than 40,000 snowdrops create a massed display that's a sight to behold.
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Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire
Anglesey Abbey has a fine snowdrop collection, with more than 300 varieties to spot. The best known is Galanthus nivalis ‘Anglesey Abbey’, the strange G. reginae-olgae ‘Missbehaving’ and G. ‘Richard Ayres’, named after a former Head Gardener.
Enjoy the gardens from 9:30am with a brisk walk to begin the day and enjoy planting combinations such as elegant, scented G. ‘S. Arnott’ with bronze Prunus serrula and the sizzling stems of Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’. Other interesting combinations of plants including grasses with spring bulbs, Pittosporum varieties with pollarded weeping willows, and sweetly scented Daphne ‘Perfume Princess’, alongside the winter favourites of Sarcococca, Mahonia and Cornus.
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