Snowdrops at Holme Pierrepont Hall

February is a funny month, not a laughing out loud funny month, but a funny peculiar month.  It is short but feels long.  The days get noticeably longer, yet it is often overcast and the cold nights chill to the bone.  The snow period is not yet really over and winter still has us in its grip.  This month is made more bearable by the glory of the snowdrop and the happiness that is a good snowdrop garden.  Every year I like to wander around as many snowdrop gardens as I can.  This year the odyssey has kicked off with a trip to Holme Pierrepont Hall in Nottingham.
The house dates back to c.1500 and I love this view of the house through the pudding shaped yews.
You get a glimpse of the snowdrops as you enter the garden, you are assailed by the white of the snowdrops and the most wonderful winter scent from the snowdrops and scented shrubs that line the winter walk.
It is a superb winter walk.  It has to be one of the best I have visited.  I love this hamamelis that was just smothered in its shreddy flowers.
Just a step along was this red hamamelis perfectly matched with the pine behind it.
and is this cherry blossom?  It looks perfect with the blobby white snowdrops surrounding it.
These three silver birches make a perfect focal point.  Having three birches like this is a well-used idea because it works so well.  These seem less formally placed than other birch-combos I have seen and I like them all the more for that.
This remains my favourite part of the winter walk.  The bright stems of acers and cornus shine against their dark backdrop.  It is just so well planted, I love a well planned garden and this is a well thought out and constructed.  There are longer winter walks you can visit, but they are often bulked out by mass plantings, this garden makes it point succinctly so that as you walk along you move from space to space enjoying every moment.
I was there though to mainly admire the snowdrops.  Most of the snowdrops are noticeably tall, a good six or seven inches tall.  This made them look rather special.
Onwards into the wood and there are more snowdrops to enjoy, this time is a less formal setting.  Bearing in mind it is quite early in the snowdrop season at the moment, they are flowering well.  It all feels a little early this year.
If you peer closely you can see a little patch of yellow by this bench, which is a delight of pale yellow primroses.
I pondered why these twigs had been stacked up against this tree, a warning to passing witches maybe?
I was also not sure what is underneath these carefully protected piles of twigs.  I am intrigued.
Almost as intrigued I was by the ghost of borders long gone in this stretch of the garden.  I wonder if there were flower borders that created a path up to the house? I would love to know.
Two joyous moments from the garden, the first daffodil I have seen flowering this year...
and the solitary snowdrop, all alone growing through the lawn.  Both are truly reasons to be cheerful.

There are few things as welcome as a walk on a winter afternoon.  It was cold but thankfully not raining or snowing which made it a joy.  It was a great start to my snowdrop season.

Holme Pierrepont Hall house and gardens are open in February and March Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 2- 5pm.  Please check their website for details: http://www.holmepierreponthall.com/garden-opening.html  



(and a big thanks to Chantelle for inviting me to visit).

Other snowdrop gardens visited this year:

Hodsock Priory

Evenley Wood

Thenford

Colesbourne Park

Comments

  1. I think I can answer a few of your questions about Holme Pierrepont Hall gardens. The blossom in one of your photos is white Japanese quince, Chaenomeles speciosa nivalis. The early daffodil is February gold. The piles of twigs in the wood have been left to provide shelter for wildlife. The branches left against the branch of atree are the remains of an old den made by my children.Regarding the ghost borders we are researching the history of the garden at the moment so hope to find some more information.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for this Charlotte- I wish you all the best with researching the garden. I spent quite a while in the Walled garden looking at the remnants of the path edges and imagining vegetable and cut flower borders of days gone by.

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