Snowdrops have been growing at Hodsock Priory in north Nottinghamshire for a lot more than 25 years, but the gardens have only been opened to the public for snowdrops since 1991. I was lucky enough to be invited along to their Press/Blogger day for an opportunity to share this special date with them and to have a tour around the gardens.
We were greeted by the family when we arrived, George, Lady Belinda, Sir Andrew and Katherine Buchanan. George talked us through some of the stats that are around this snowdrop event. When they first opened back in 1991 they did not think many people would come, they had a biscuit tin to collect the entrance money. Over 600 people attended which gave a good indication that this might be a successful thing to do. They receive over 60,000 visitors for the three weeks that they now open for the snowdrop festival. There are over 4,000,000 snowdrops to be inspected and oohed and ahhed over.
We were very lucky with the weather, that has been changeable to say the least recently. The snowdrops were shimmering in the sun.
These clipped beech trees dotted around the woodland make a great foil for the tiny white flowers.
Daffodils were providing a foreground for the Tudor gatehouse, once visited by HenryVIII and Catherine Howard.
There were also many hellebores to be seen. The strange weather has brought some flowers forward and there was a superb mix of colour and form throughout the garden.
There were a lot of irises flowering, we thought these George irises were very apt.
The garden was looking stunning, this cornus was shining the in the winter sunlight.
It is a well planned winter garden, with bright stems giving colour;
and scent from hamamelis, sarcococca and winter honeysuckle that perfume the paths around the garden.
There are terraces of hellebores, daffodils, snowdrops and more along the stream.
The mild weather means that there are still carnations flowering in the garden.
There are excellent viewpoints across the lake, from the house.....
and to the house.
and there are snowdrops everywhere you turn.
Wait! I hear you say, but did you buy any plants?
Oh yes, snowdrops and some cyclamen were purchased. Each flower a reminder of an excellent day.
Snowdrops at Hodsock will open daily between , from . Prices: £5 for adults, £4.50 for groups of 10+, £1 for children over 6. Infants and wheelchair users go FREE. Advance tickets are available online at www.snowdrops.co.uk.