Wentworth Woodhouse's snowdrop displays are set to be some of the most spectacular in Yorkshire this winter.
Gardeners at the Grade I-listed stately home near Rotherham have now planted 40 acres of the grounds with bulbs ahead of snowdrop tours for visitors in February.
2020 is the third year the tours have run and the snowdrop coverage has increased significantly since 2018 thanks to the efforts of garden volunteers.
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The guided walks through the Wentworth gardens regularly sell out and this winter's displays are expected to be the best yet.
Head gardener Scott Jamieson said:-
“Our snowdrops nestle under towering ancient trees, dance beneath the scented spidery witch-hazel flowers and now cover almost the full 40 acres of our West Front garden. Our green-fingered volunteers have played a big part in that.”
During Scott’s 15-year tenure, dividing bulbs to ensure ever-larger swathes of the garden are carpeted in white each February has been an important rite of spring.
The task has been made much easier over the last couple of years thanks to the 30-strong team of weekly garden volunteers, plus the introduction of a corporate volunteering scheme, which gives businesses and their staff the opportunity to support the work of the house's owners, the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust.
“We can now move tens of thousands of bulbs a season,” said Scott. “We head off armed with a spade and a wheelbarrow, and warm up with a cheery winter fire in the grounds.”
Wentworth Woodhouse’s snowdrop varieties include the common variety Galanthus Nivalis, the double snowdrop Galanthus Flore Plena, the Galanthus Elwesii and the tall and hardy Galanthus S.Arnott.
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“More unusual varieties were discovered during bulb-dividing work last year and have been grown on in pots in the hope they could prove to be unique to Wentworth Woodhouse,” added Scott.
They will they be re-planted in a showcase position in the spring.
Wentworth’s guided snowdrop tours last for an hour and feature a mile-long walk which passes the Camellia House, a listed building containing rare species of camellia imported from China to Wentworth in the 1800s, and views from the South Terrace.
Tours run from Wednesday-Sunday starting on February 5 and ending on March 1. The walks leave at 10am and 2pm.
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Tickets are £10 for adults and £5 for children, with a 50 per cent discount for National Trust members.
Scott Jamieson is also running his own general tours of the gardens on February 12, 15 and 19, tickets £25.
Book at www.wentworthwoodhouse.org.uk