Massed displays of snowdrops are always a welcome curtain raiser for the Norfolk National Gardens Scheme open gardens season. This year three gardens will be opening and inviting visitors to view this deservedly popular flower in its natural setting.
On Saturday, 21st February, the open garden season starts in style at Horstead House, nr Coltishall (NR12 7AU), situated by with the River Bure, whose bank provides a great backdrop for a display of snowdrops and island of vivid red dogwoods. The snowdrops have marched on and extended into the adjacent woodland.
On Sunday 22nd February 22, it’s the turn of Bagthorpe Hall, near East Rudham (PE31 6QY) with masses of snowdrops along its scenic walks. Some delicious warming soup made from vegetables grown on the estate farm will be available after your winter walk.
There are over 80 varieties of snowdrops to grab your attention at Chestnut Farm in West Beckham (NR25 6NX) which is opening on both, Thursday 26th February and Sunday 1st March. Here there will also be plenty of other late winter flowers to admire with some heavenly scented shrubs. Owners John and Judy McNeil Wilson have over 50 years of gardening expertise and are always keen to share their knowledge with visitors.
County Organiser Julia Stafford Allen comments “ People often find this time of year depressing and my advice is to get out and visit these gardens because these carpets of snowdrops cannot but help to give a little cheer.”
Snowdrop Walks 2015
Sat 21 Feb
Horstead, Norwich NR12 7AU.
Open (11- 4). Adm £4, chd free. Home-made teas..
Millions of beautiful snowdrops carpet the woodland setting with winter flowering shrubs. A stunning feature are the dogwoods growing on a small island in R Bure, which flows through the garden. Small walled garden. Wheelchair access to main snowdrop area.
Sun 22 Feb
Bagthorpe, nr Bircham PE31 6QY
Open (11-4). Adm £4, chd free. Light refreshments. Delicious Homemade soups made with vegetables from the farm, homemade cakes and teas, plants for sale, dogs allowed.
Snowdrops carpeting woodland walk, walled garden and main garden.
Thur 26 Feb, Sun 1 Mar
West Beckham NR25 6NX.
Open (11-4) Adm £4.50, chd free Light lunches and teas available.
Mature 3 acre garden for all seasons with recent additions, created over 50yrs by enthusiastic plant lovers. See 90 varieties of snowdrops with crocus, hellebores and daphnes planted in natural surroundings.
Blacksmith Toby Winterbourn will exhibit a collection of his Garden Sculpture on Sun 1 March. Plant sales and visiting nurseries.
Gold Star Fencing Bungay