Where to find the best snowdrops in Hertfordshire
PUBLISHED: 19:21 21 February 2011 | UPDATED: 15:54 07 February 2017
At a lean time in the gardening calendar, Snowdrops flowering in February means that spring is not far away. Philippa Pearson looks at varieties to try in your garden and where to see them in the county
February is the traditional time for snowdrops to poke their pretty white heads above freezing soil. Last year after a very cold snowy winter, snowdrops were a good couple of weeks behind their normal flowering period but displays were still stunning if later than usual.
Snowdrops are a harbinger of spring and by choosing varieties carefully, you could have a succession of flowers spanning from October to March. But it’s their graceful presence in the garden on a sunny late winter’s day that charms and delights every gardener’s heart.
How to grow snowdrops
The traditional planting time for all snowdrops is ‘in the green’, just after they have finished flowering. Snowdrops hate being left to dry out so don’t always establish very successfully as dry bulbs: dig up clumps soon after flowering whilst still in leaf. Like most bulbs, don’t plant singularly but in groups of at least three, five or more and choose light shady areas under trees or shrubs in soil that reflects their natural woodland habitat, adding composted leaf mould or organic matter if necessary to the planting site.
Five snowdrops to try
- Galanthus nivalis ‘Flore Pleno’ is the best for naturalising and
gives a strong display of tight double flowers
- Galanthus elwesii has large grey leaves and double-marked large flowers
- Galanthus ‘S. Arnott’ has round bell-shaped scented flowers
- Galanthus nivalis ‘Viridapice’ has green tipped petals
- Galanthus ‘Magnet’ has very large flowers that dance in the wind
Where to see snowdrops
Open daily from Saturday 5th to Sunday 27th February, noon-4pm
A renowned display of snowdrops around the remains of a Norman Castle and surrounding moat. The walled Kitchen Garden has a labelled collection, view by appointment or as part of a guided walk. Guided Walks on Mondays and Wednesdays at 2pm, tickets sold on the day in the entrance kiosk. Refreshments available weekdays and Saturdays in the Tea Room, Sundays in the village hall or at nearby public house.
Admission: Adults £4 (£4.50 Sundays) Children: Under 16’s £2. Children: Under 12’s Free.
Benington, Stevenage SG2 7BS
Myddelton House Gardens
Snowdrop and Hellebore Walk on Saturday 12th February, 1-3pm
A guided walk to discover some of the winter treasures in this historically significant garden created by E A Bowles. A carpet of snowdrops covers the Alpine Meadow, a garden inspired by Bowles’s plant hunting trips to the Pyrenees.
Admission: Adult £5.40, child £3.80, concession £3.80
Booking is essential: contact the Information Service on 08456 770 600.
Myddelton House Gardens
Enfield EN2 9HG
RHS Silver-Gilt medal winner Philippa Pearson is a garden designer and professional horticulturalist, awarded People’s Choice Award for Best Show Garden at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2010. Visit www.philippapearson.co.uk or contact her on 01767 651253