Snowdrops at NGS 2013
Snowdrops are often described as the last flower of winter so when they flower it’s a clear sign that spring is not far away!
The National Gardens Scheme (NGS) in Norfolk starts its garden visiting season in February and has four gardens opening their gates to reveal abundant displays of snowdrops.
Sunday 10th February
Lexham Hall, nr Litcham, PE32 2QJ has a magnificent twelve acres of snowdrops and winter aconites in several woods and across parkland. Walk through the aptly named Church Wood and you will find one of the oldest churches in England, St Andrews of East Lexham, which will be open to visitors on the day. Its distinctive 9th Century Anglo Saxon round tower is a feature particular to the more remote village churches in Norfolk.
Don’t forget to seek out the unusual winter flowering and scented shrubs in the walled garden and some warming refreshments will be available in the adjacent tea room.
Sunday 24th February
There are two gardens opening with Bagthorpe Hall, nr East Rudham, PE31 6QY in the west of the County displaying masses of snowdrops along woodland glades. Home-made soup made from vegetables grown on the farm will be available, a welcome refreshment after a winter walk!
Horstead House, Horstead, NR12 7AU in the east of the County is in a lovely riverside setting by the river Bure. A great backdrop for the exuberant banked displays of snowdrops with islands of red stemmed dogwoods as a stunning contrast. A large woodland has also been opened up to encourage the snowdrops and winter flowering shrubs have been planted throughout.
Thursday 28th February and Sunday the 3rd March
Chestnut Farm, West Beckham, NR25 6NX is a real snowdrop enthusiast’s garden with over 60 varieties to see close up with owners John and Judy McNeil Wilson keen to show you all the delights of their renowned plant lover’s garden. Best of all there will be plants for sale!
All the gardens open from 11am to 4pm, have refreshments available and children are admitted free.
Anthea Foster, NGS County Organiser, said “I look forward to the start of the garden visiting year and the four gardens we have opening in February have some splendid displays of snowdrops and other early flowers at their best. They really do brighten up the cold days of winter!”