You know it’s the end of winter when these little white blooms appear. Hannah Stephenson reveals some of the best spots to enjoy them.
They are often the first optimistic signs to emerge from the winter gloom - spring is finally on its way (hurrah!) - and snowdrops are being celebrated nationwide, with festivals, guided walks and trails galore.
Here are just a few of the gardens where you can admire dazzling drifts of these pint-sized beauties from now until the end of March:
1. York Gate Garden, Adel, Leeds (yorkgate.org.uk)
For the first time ever, York Gate Garden, near Leeds, will open for a snowdrop week, from February 20-23. This charming one-acre space, owned and run by the charity Perennial, features many different varieties of snowdrops, including Galanthus ‘S. Arnott’.
Created by the Spencer family during the 20th Century, the garden is designed around a series of 14 outdoor rooms, each with its own unique character, laid out on a framework of yew and beech hedges and York stone and granite paths.
2. Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, Yorkshire (nationaltrust.org.uk/fountains-abbey)
This World Heritage Site is a paradise for nature lovers. The picturesque abbey ruins look beautiful at the beginning of the year, set alongside carpets of snowdrops. It dates back to the 19th Century, when Earl de Grey planted snowdrops to spell out his name along the banks of the River Skell. The snowdrops tend to appear in the last week of January but are generally in full bloom by the second week of February.
3. Burton Agnes Hall, East Yorkshire (burtonagnes.com)
This Elizabethan stately home and award-winning garden is holding a Snowdrop Spectacular from February 10-March 4. Every February, millions of hardy snowdrops push through the cold winter ground to create a magnificent ‘white carpet’ across the woodland floor. Galanthophiles may also like to buy some Burton Agnes-propagated snowdrops ‘in the green’, which is the best way of building a collection.