Snowdrops at Belvoir Castle

Belvoir Castle has been on the horizon of my life for as long as I can remember.  It sits, magnificently, on the edge of the Vale of Belvoir, able to be seen from miles around.  I have memories of visiting as a child and photographs being taken us as children sitting on the castle's canons that point out across the valley.  I need to say early on that whilst the word 'Belvoir' might look like it comes from the french for 'beautiful view', it is actually pronounced  'beaver'.
 When the invitation to visit arrived from the Garden Media Guild did I hesitate for a millisecond? Of course not.

The castle's origins are Norman and it has been rebuilt and developed several times.  It is still the private home of the Manner's family, the Dukes and Duchesses' of Rutland.  The castle has been the location for many films and has most recently featured as a Windsor Castle in the Netflix series 'The Crown'.

The theme of the visit was ostensibly to see snowdrops, but there is much of the gardens to discover.  The gardens today are the product of their history: the 5th Duchess of Rutland, Elizabeth Howard, the current Duchess, Harold Peto and Capability Brown, amongst others, have left their mark.
Our tour was led by the Head Gardener Tom Webster and we were led down from the castle and into the rose garden.  Even in the depth of winter, with snow on the ground and the sky constantly changing from blue to 'oh crikey it might snow again', the topiary and structure makes this garden a special place.
The terrace gardens are wonderfully romantic, the hard landscaping and the formal elements are softened by the gardens around them.
We wove our way down the paths and into the less formal, wooded areas.
We admired the early flowering camellias.
and loved the stumpery.  I particularly liked how these ferns cuddled up to the stumps.


and we found snowdrops; pools and swathes of them.
This is a special garden, I left knowing knowing that I had to return to explore more.

With grateful thanks to the Garden Media Guild and Andy Tudbury for organising the visit, to Tom Webster for his time and knowledge showing us around and of course the Duchess of Rutland for hosting us so generously and for enabling us to visit her beautiful home and gardens.

Comments

  1. Lucky you, being able to visit such an amazing place. Snowdrops are so wonderful at this time of year, what else could get us out garden visiting?!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, it was a great visit. Glad I was able to get there in between storms!

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