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Where can we see lots of snowdrops? Try these lovely gardens

PUBLISHED: 16:15 12 February 2018

Snowdrops at Blakenham Woodland Garden. Picture: NGS

Snowdrops at Blakenham Woodland Garden. Picture: NGS

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The National Garden Scheme’s Snowdrop Festival is ON. Here are the local dates and places

Aconites and cyclamen coum at Gable House. Picture: NGSAconites and cyclamen coum at Gable House. Picture: NGS

We’ve had only two in the past, but the National Garden Scheme’s Snowdrop Festival has already earned itself a firm place on the calendar. Steven Russell looks at the places opening in our neck of the woods

Suffolk

Blakenham Woodland Garden

Sunday, February 18

10am to 5pm

Bagthorpe Hall, Norfolk. Picture: VIA NGSBagthorpe Hall, Norfolk. Picture: VIA NGS

Admission £4, child £2.

Blakenham Woodland Garden, Little Blakenham, near Ipswich, IP8 4LZ.

Four miles north-west of Ipswich. Follow signs at Little Blakenham; one mile off B1113.

Six-acre woodland garden with variety of rare trees and shrubs, Chinese rocks and landscape sculpture – and snowdrops.

Tea, coffee, cakes & plant sales.

Chestnut Farm, Norfolk. Picture: VIA NGSChestnut Farm, Norfolk. Picture: VIA NGS

Gable House

Sunday, February 18

11am to 4.30pm

Admission £4, children free.

Gable House, Halesworth Road, Redisham, near Beccles, NR34 8NE

Five miles south of Beccles. A144 south from Bungay, left at St Lawrence School, two miles to Gable House. Or A12 Blythburgh, A145 to Beccles, at Brampton crossroads left to Station Road. Garden is three miles on.

Horstead House, Norfolk. Picture: VIA NGSHorstead House, Norfolk. Picture: VIA NGS

Large collection of snowdrops, cyclamen, hellebores, aconites and other flowering plants for Snowdrop Day in February. Many bulbs and plants for sale. Home-made teas. Warming soups.

Essex

Horkesley Hall

Sunday, February 25

1.30pm to 4pm.

Admission £5, children free.

Six miles north of centre of Colchester. Two miles west of A134. Drive into Little Horkesley Church car park to the very far end – access via low, double, black gates at far end. Ten minutes from A12, 20 from Sudbury and one hour from Newmarket.

Eight acres of romantic garden surrounding classical house in mature parkland setting. First year it’s opened for a Snowdrop Walk. There’s also a Jungle Walk.

Light refreshments.

www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/10354093

Norfolk

Horstead House

Saturday, February 17

11am to 4pm

Admission £4, children free.

Horstead House, Mill Road, Horstead, near Norwich, NR12 7AU

Six miles north-east of Norwich on North Walsham road, B1150. Down Mill Road, opposite the Recruiting Sergeant pub.

Snowdrops carpet the woodland setting with winter-flowering shrubs. Home-made teas. Refreshments in aid of Horstead Church.

Bagthorpe Hall

Sunday, February 25

11am to 4pm

Admission £4, children free

Bagthorpe Hall, Bagthorpe, Bircham, PE31 6QY

Three and a half miles north of East Rudham, off A148 King’s Lynn to Fakenham. At East Rudham: left opposite The Crown; 3½m, hamlet of Bagthorpe. Farm buildings on left, wood on right. White gates set back from road; top of drive. Snowdrops carpeting a circular woodland walk, returning through the walled and main garden. Home-made soups made with organic vegetables from the farm, homemade cakes 
& teas.

Chestnut Farm

Sunday, February 25 and Sunday, March 4

11am to 4pm

Admission £5, children free

Chestnut Farm, Church Road, West Beckham, Holt, NR25 6NX

Two and a half miles south of Sheringham. On A148 opposite Sheringham Park entrance. Take road signed BY WAY TO WEST BECKHAM. About three quarters of a mile to the village sign and garden.

Mature three-acre garden with a lifetime’s collection of plants, including many unusual ones. In spring there are more than 90 different varieties of snowdrops and large drifts of crocus. Light refreshments.

Cambridgeshire

Clover Cottage

Each Sunday until March 4

2pm to 4pm.

Admission £2.50, children free.

Clover Cottage, 50 Streetly End, West Wickham, west of Haverhill, CB21 4RP

Three miles from Linton, three miles from Haverhill. From Horseheath, turn left. From Balsham, turn right. Thatched cottage opposite triangle of grass next to old windmill. Hot chocolate, tea and coffee.

Details of the NGS: www.ngs.org.uk

Snowdrop, Gallanthus, Milk Flower – most garden owners and visitors are comfortable with these terms, describing the tiny white flowers that make the late-winter months slightly less doleful. But a seasoned Galanthophile will be all too aware of these fun and quirky facts about the much-loved snowdrop plants that are at their best in February.

• We can buy a Galanthus plicatus ‘Golden Fleece’ snowdrop on eBay for £1,390 (plus £4 P&P)

• Snowdrops were named after earrings, not drops of snow.

• There are more than 2,500 varieties of snowdrop.

• A naturally-occurring substance within the plant, galantamine, is used to help treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, although the bulbs themselves are poisonous.

• Rare snowdrop varieties are not usually easy to propagate; hence the hefty price tag per bulb.

Source: National Garden Scheme

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