Monday, 20 February 2012

A Snowdrop Open Day

Sparkling winter sunshine and snowdrops were very much the order of the day when we visited Abbeywood Gardens, in Cheshire yesterday morning. I penned the date in my diary as soon as I read that the gardens were holding their first snowdrop open day. Snowdrop events always seem to be hundreds of miles away adrift in the south and here was one almost on my doorstep! As well as a woodland area studded with these beauties, there were many more treasures (some 180 different varieties) planted in 'Jane's Garden', where the plantswoman behind the name has created a magical winter garden. Here Jane Rowlinson describes how her love affair with snowdrops started - do have a read.

Here are just a few of the stars of the show ~





You will have noticed the glistening white stuff on the ground. Late on Saturday night we had a cocktail of hail, sleet and snow. I am sure that Jane must have been on tenterhooks, as if the temperatures had really dropped overnight, both the snowdrops and the many hellebores in the garden would have not been able to do themselves justice. As it was the weather was made to order - if anything almost too bright for taking photos. I would have preferred to visit later in the day but was not able to do so, which meant that I've had to crop my shadow or himself's shadow out of several photos. There were some more agile photographers who took the prostrate on the ground position to take their shots but this is not for me - well not in a public place anyway.




As well as snowdrops there other bulbs and plants to catch the eye including many hellebores and one that struck me which I think is a red leaved bergenia - must find out which variety as its colour really complimented its neighbours ~




My wish list grew and grew as we walked round. I could hear himself groaning. Two must haves now are galanthus plicatus 'Madeleine' ~


and below galanthus nivalis 'Alan's Treat' which really pulled at my heartstrings as my Dad's name was Alan. I saw this in a catalogue earlier this year and paused - now that I have seen it in the flesh I will make a bee line for it next time I see it for sale ! 


We will definitely return to see how the snowdrops in 'Jane's Garden' and the woodland progress - over 40,000 snowdrops were planted in 2011 and the planting continues. However before then I have persuaded himself to point the campervan in the of Abbeywood Gardens later this year. There is a campsite nearby just right for a long weekend. There are more garden areas to explore at Abbeywood including an exotic garden and vegetable garden, Delamere Forest is on the doorstep and just down the road there is a cafe which makes the most delicious blts. The latter incentive was the deciding factor as far as himself is concerned but sometimes bribery works.

P.S. Athough this years snowdrop open day is done and dusted the Abbeywood website advises that visitors are welcome by appointment throughout February.

20 comments:

  1. Hi Anna,

    Lovely photos :) It's always nice to see the Snowdrop open days as they really are the beginning of the season... Soon we'll also have the Bluebell open days and the year will be well under way!

    We went to Hodsock priory again on Sunday (went last year), the weather was far better thhis year and it was a very nice walk around on a slow sunday; also surprisingly warm and pleasant considering the weather forecast was saying it'd be chilly.

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    1. Glad to hear that you got to Hodsock again Liz and that the weather was good. My local garden club had a trip there a while ago - could kick myself for not going but hate coach travel.

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  2. Thanks for this post Anna. I am glued (not quite) to the computer, drooling over all the posts about snowdrops. One year, I will visit England in Feb, and get to check them out myself. Alan's treat is a beauty, my fathers name is also Alan, so maybe one day, I can treat myself.

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    1. You are welcome Deb. I am glued too. Hope that you get over here one year during snowdrop time and that if you do you come across 'Alan's Treat'.

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  3. The open day sounds right up your street. You must add Alan's Treat to your collection, especially as your dad's name was Alan. You certainly got the weather for your trip, we had a trip out to a local stately home and it was packed, I think everyone was making the most of the sunshine while it lasted.

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    1. It was a lovely day Jo - just right for a trip out. Hope that you enjoyed your day out. I will be on the look out for Alan's Treat :)

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  4. I like snowdrops but . . . with a few exceptions . . . do the different kinds really look different? Is it worth growing lots of varieties? I understand about the 'Alan' one - but, apart from that, did you find you were drawn to any in particular because they were so much prettier than the others? Serious Galanthophilia puzzles me.

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    1. Hi Lucy - yes they do really look different especially when you see different varieties in close proximity as we did at Abbeywood. There are small flowers, big flowers, green and gold markings, tall 'drops and short 'drops, different textured petals as well as a myriad of different leaves :)

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  5. Thanks for the tour Anna. We're not into snowdrops as individual varieties but love to see it in drifts in a woodland setting, or any garden for that matter. Snowdrops are essential to any winter garden.

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    1. Yes they do look great in drifts Mark and Gaz and as you say they are a winter garden essential :)

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  6. I love the snowdrops with the yellow in them such as 'Primrose Warburg' they are so unusual. Looks like you had great weather for a day garden visiting. I was tempted to do the prostrate photo taking a Wisley yesterday but thought better of it.

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    1. 'Primrose Warburg' is a beauty WW. The prostate photo taking is alright until it comes to the getting up again part - would do it in private but might be too undignified if I had to get himself to haul me back up again in public. Also it was a bit too cold :)

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  7. Beautiful snowdrop photos Anna. Appreciated all the more as I had to miss my planned snowdrop day out in early Feb due to the bad weather. I've so far found 4 in my own garden that the chickens haven't dug up!

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    1. Thanks Jules. What a shame that you missed out on your planned snowdrop day out. I think that there were a lot of similar cancellations across the country. You are providing much too superior snacks for your chickens.

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  8. OK, I concede that snowdrops with yellow dots are different enough from their neighbors to notice, but I am with Mark and Gaz, and Lucy, just give me large drifts of nodding white heads and I am happy!! I think you are doomed to a lifetime of addiction though, and therefore a lifetime of grovelling on your kneed to prove to we uneducated masses how different all your prize bulbs are from one another ;-)

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    1. I am just as happy with the large drifts of nodding white heads too Janet :) You are right though - I'm addicted but we have all got to have some vices !

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  9. Oh these kind of posts (visiting gardens on open days) makes me very much miss the very brief time I spent in England!!! Those red bergenia leaves are stunning, and all the snowdrops are wonderful. They are so friendly-looking.

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    1. Hope that you get the chance to return one day Monica. The bergenia was a beauty - not only a glorious colour but such healthy looking foliage too. Jane has now kindly identified it for me and I am most tempted.

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  10. Up here in Scotland ours are really just starting to look really good though I've not been able to get to any major displays on my days off. I would be down on my knees turning over their petals to see what their frilly peticoats looked like...... were you too Anna?

    I hope you've had more success in your garden this year with them.

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    1. Too old and cold to get down on my knees Rosie but I did crouch :) I keep my special ones in pots so I can appreciate them close up but that has its drawbacks. I lost a good number over the last couple of winters so am now planning a different strategy.

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All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at : thegreentapestry@gmail.com

Namasté

- Anna.