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Yet more snowdrop gardens!


In addition to the ones that I announced in an earlier post, “Snowdrop Events”, there are loads more opportunities coming up to view our favourite February flowers in our surrounding area and slightly further afield (see also the lists and links on the various Garden visit and Members’ gardens pages): SLGS Members’ gardens appear first, of course!

SAT 15 – SUN 23 FEB (Snowdrop Event) daily (11–4) : Easton Walled Gardens, Easton, Grantham, Lincs NG33 5AP for snowdrops, with special walks and talks etc, then from SUN 2 MARCH as normal (Thurs, Fri, Sun & Bank Hol Mons, 11–4) until Fri 31 Oct. £6.75; children £2.75. See their excellent website for more information.

SUN 23 FEB (11–4) : 6 Robins Wood, Wansford, Peterborough, Cambs PE8 6JQ for NGS £2.50; children free. Carole & Forbes Smith. (Visitors also welcome by appt Jan to May. Tel: 01780 783094. Email.) 7m W of Peterborough on A1/A47 junction. From A47 turn towards Wansford. At Xrds by church turn W onto Old Leicester Rd. Approx 500yds turn R into Robins Field, follow on to Robins Wood. A lovely, small woodland garden with a collection of 300+ varieties of snowdrops. Various hellebores and corydalis followed by other spring woodland plants and bulbs. Small alpine plant house.

SUN 2 MARCH (2–5) : The Homestead, Normanton-by-Bottesford, Notts NG13 0EP (for NGS) £2.50; children free. Home-made teas. John & Shirley Palmer. (Visitors also welcome by appt Feb to May, and Aug to early Sept to view their Plant Heritage National Plant Collection of Heliotropes – but now’s the best time to put in your order, for delivery May/June! Tel: 01949 842745. Email.) Their small nursery, Homestead Plants, supplies unusual hardy and half-hardy perennials, including heliotropes, hellebores, hostas, salvias, snowdrops, houseleeks (sempervivums) and asters for dry spots. Send 2 x 2nd-class stamps for list.

Now for the non-members.

SAT 16 FEB & SUN 23 FEB (11–3) : Boughton House, Geddington, Nr. Kettering Nhants NN14 1BJ (for NGS) £5.00. For other opening times and information, please phone 01536 515731 or see The Northamptonshire home of the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch. The garden opening includes opportunities to see the historic walled kitchen garden and herbaceous border including the newly created sensory and wildlife gardens (please note that the wider landscape and Orpheus will not be open). The wilderness woodland will open for visitors to view the spring flowers. As a special treat the garden originally created by Sir David Scott (cousin of the Duke of Buccleuch) will also be open. He was a cousin of the Duke of Buccleuch, living for many years at the Dower House at Boughton, and married to Valerie Finnis, the well-known horticulturist, and together they created a beautiful plantsman’s garden, which is in the process of being restored. In its heyday it was this Dower House garden that helped to inspire my love of the rare, the curious and the unusual, and thus indirectly brought about the founding of SLGS!

SUN 23 FEB (12–4) : Jericho, Market Place, Oundle, Nhants PE8 4AJ For NGS £3.00. Stephen & Pepita Aris (visitors and groups also welcome by appt Feb to July – best between mid-May and late July). Tel: 01832 275416 Email.). Inspired by Vita Sackville-West, 50 years ago, the 100-m, S-facing, walled garden is divided into a series of ‘secret’ spaces. House (not open) is clothed in wisteria, clematis and roses. A plant-led garden with massive hornbeam hedge, clipped box and lavender. Over 50 labelled species roses, plus a ‘hot’ border. Snowdrops, crocus and hellebore in early spring.

SUN 23 FEB : BURBAGE GARDENS : 6 Denis Road (David & Margaret Dawkins) & 7 Hall Road (Don & Mary Baker) Sketchley Manor Estate, Burbage, LE10 2LR/LE10 2LU. For NGS: combined admission £3.50. We had a SLGS Snowdrop visit to these two delightful gardens back in 2011 and Simon took loads of photos! Small gardens, but packed with interest and seasonal colour – not just snowdrops – and well worth the trip if it’s a nice day. Unfortunately this opening does clash with some excellent local garden openings by SLGS members!

SUN 2 MAR : 1 St Thomas’ Rd, Great Glen, Leicester LE8 9EH (7m S of Leicester). For NGS £2, chd free. Gill & John Hadland. (Visitors also welcome by appt Mar to Sept: Tel: 01162 592170. Email.) Organically managed small walled cottage-style garden with year-round interest. Interesting and unusual plants, many grown from seed. Formal box parterre herb garden, courtyard, herbaceous borders, small wildlife pond, greenhouse, beehives, vegetable and fruit area. Auricula display. Handmade sculptures and artefacts made from recycled materials on display. Collection of Galanthus (snowdrops).

BY APPOINTMENT : 39 Foster Road, off Campaign Ave, Woodston, Peterborough, Cambs PE2 9RS. For NGS £3.50, chd free. Robert Marshall & Richard Handscombe. Visitors welcome by appt Feb to Oct, weekdays possible, groups up to 25 very welcome.  Tel: 01733 555978. Email. Plantsman’s garden in small, new estate plot. Mixed borders; woodland/shade; ‘vestibule’ garden; exotic and ferns; espaliered fruit; pergola; patio; pond; parterre; many pots; octagonal greenhouse; seating and sculpture. Uncommon snowdrops, over 200 hostas, plus daphnes, acers and other choice/unusual cultivars. Trees and hedges create enclosure and intimacy. We had a most enjoyable SLGS Snowdrop visit here in 2010, before going on to Carole and Forbes Smith’s at Wansford – which brings this post full circle!

Fingers crossed for better Galanthus-viewing conditions this year!


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