Happy New Year! Snowdrop season is upon us again, and it seems to be sooner than usual this year. The little beauties are appearing all around with white spear-points everywhere (some of my hellebores are in bud, too, much earlier than ever, I think. My hazel catkins are getting longer by the day, but in the hedges around Peterborough, which are always more advanced than us, they were fully out last week!).
So here are some local snowdrop events to take note of, a new one (first) and some old favourites:
Wednesday 26th February, Snowdrop Lunch at Willow Holt, Folkingham (12 noon–3pm). Choices of soups and puddings (and a glass of wine). Proceeds to SLEACM (Folkingham church and adjacent parishes). For tickets (£5.00) apply to Annetta Turner on 01529 497215. Simon and Annetta have an ever-growing collection of interesting snowdrops, but even if the weather is poor the event will be a convivial one and a good chance to talk plants. Advance booking essential, please.
Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th February, the garden at Little Ponton Hall, home of Mrs Alistair McCorquodale, is open (11am–4pm) for the National Gardens Scheme.
This is a stunning 4-acre garden which at this time of the year has a fabulous display of snowdrops and aconites. There are spacious lawns and a cedar tree which is over 200 years old. A stream meanders through into the spring garden, and don’t miss the river walk. Within the garden is a formal walled kitchen garden and listed dovecote with a recently developed herb garden. Victorian greenhouses show many plants from exotic locations. This is an exceptionally good garden and one not to be missed. There is a special car park for disabled visitors. Good access for wheelchairs on all hard surfaces but unsuitable on grass.
Adjacent is the delightful St Guthlac’s Church, which will be decorated, and all visitors are welcome. The carpets of winter aconites under the trees near the church are breathtaking and on a sunny day the scent of honey is almost overwhelming (left).
Admission £5.00. Children free.
Light refreshments and Teas in aid of the church.
Plants for sale and other stalls. Dogs on leads welcome.
21 Chapel Street, Haconby, Nr Bourne PE10 0UL
Open on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd February, and Sunday 30th March (all 11–5pm) for the National Gardens Scheme. 3m N of Bourne on A15. Turn E at Xrds into Haconby.
Out of an old farmyard plot covered in rubbish and old sheds behind an 18th century cottage, Cliff and Joan Curtis have created a small walled garden with a paved area, a pool, a large alpine planted area and intensively plantyed beds and borders. At this time of year there is a WONDERFUL display of snowdrops. This is a garden full of interesting plants and visitors can come again in September to see the asters, dahlias and salvias and schizostylis.
Keen gardeners will find that Cliff and Joan are extremely knowledgeable plantspeople who are very happy to share their wealth of experience and love of gardening and their gardening tips are well worth hearing.
Plants for sale. Home-made teas. Admission £2.50 Children free.
Visitors are also welcome by appointment. Tel. 01778 570314. Email: cliffordcurtis (AT) btinternet.com
Walters Cottage, Haconby, 6 Hall Road, Nr Bourne, PE10 0UY
Open Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd March (12-4pm) for the National Gardens Scheme.
3m N of Bourne A15. Turn E at Xrds to Haconby. Turn R at Hare & Hounds
The owners of Walters Cottage, Ivan and Sadie Hall are keen and knowledgeable plantsmen and their country cottage garden is a gem. This immaculate garden is a clever mixture of design and planting and has been developed over the past 10 years with various themed areas packed with interest. At this time of year there is a wonderful display of snowdrops, hellebores and spring bulbs. There is a walled garden with hornbeam allée, topiary and rill, a woodland area with a wildlife pond and plants and a sunken garden. There are long herbaceous borders, lawns and a collection of hostas. This stunning garden is well stocked with many interesting and rare plants with added features. Don’t miss this brilliant garden.
Admission £3. Children free. Home-made teas. Plants for sale. Tel: 01778 571859