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24th January 2022

The shy stars of spring

If ever there was a sight to warm the heart on a cold day, it is a carpet of snowdrops on a woodland floor. With their delicate heads poking through the hard ground and nodding in the winter winds, they send an optimistic message that spring is on the way, and that all is well. This month is the perfect time to wrap up warm and enjoy their blooms in one of our beautiful Northamptonshire historic gardens.

Luckily, we have an abundance of places in Northamptonshire where we can enjoy these beautiful harbingers of spring. Here are just a few of my favourite places, although there are many more. Please note that you must check the relevant websites to ensure that the gardens are open before you set off, and opening times and dates will vary. Some also require pre-booking. And as snowdrops can’t read a calendar they may decide to bloom earlier or later than expected. However, the last two Sundays in February offer the best chance for a snowdrop visit. 

Where to see snowdrops this February

Boughton House does the ‘snowdrop carpet’ to stunning effect under its ancient trees, and the last time I visited the honey scent was delicious. Open 27.2.22 with NGS.

Canons Ashby has prettily naturalised snowdrops in the paddock and in the wonderfully restored formal gardens. Open daily from 12th February

Coton Manor, one of the finest privately owned and managed botanic gardens in the county is open for both their wonderful snowdrops and exquisite hellebores. Open last 2 weekend in February, and the first weekend of March 

Deene Park also has an impressive collection of varieties set in their manicured and topiaried formal gardens and canalised woodland gardens.

Lamport Hall can offer you snowdrops and art! They are hosting the Northamptonshire Open Studios Spring Exhibition over the weekend of 19th - 20th February too. Artists will be creating works of art live.

Rockingham Castle has the most wonderful setting, with views for miles over five counties if it’s a clear day, and carpets of snowdrops too. Check their website for availability.

Thenford Arboretum seems to take the record for the largest number of varieties. It’s such a pretty spot, and is home to 675 different varieties of galanthus, under the care of Emma Thick, aka ‘the snowdrop lady’. Open afternoons of 9th, 19th and 22nd February 2022.

Badby Woods, The Nuttery and Evenly Woods are wonderful places to enjoy snowdrops in the most natural settings. Managed by the Woodland Trust, you will also see other winter flowers such as aconites and primroses as the season develops.

And the National Garden scheme is worth a look for more places in Northamptonshire that may be opening especially for snowdrops on 27th February 2022.

Laura Malpas

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