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Snowdrop Spectacular at Hodsock Priory, British Gardens

copyright (c) Alec & Val Scaresbrook
See www.gardeningmasterclass.co.uk for
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If you thought gardens were dull in winter, this is the place to change your
mind. So be sure to mark February in your diary so you don't miss out on
this wintry delight where you can enjoy woodland walks amongst masses of
snowdrops (Galanthus), and delight in the many fragrant flowering shrubs in
this five-acre garden.

These month-long snowdrop openings have their origins in an experimental
Snowdrop Sunday in 1990. Such was the success that the opening period was
extended to cope with demand. Now the receipts pay for the garden's upkeep,
with the considerable surplus going to charity.

Hodsock's glory for the visiting public is the huge range of snowdrop
varieties (40 all told) and the sight of so many together. Not only are
they massed in the woods, but also laid out in carpets beneath shrub borders
where they partner other winter-flowering plants for a spectacular display.

The walk around the garden leads to a special winter border alongside the
lake and bog garden, and along the artificial stream installed in part of
the old dry moat. A rustic bridge creates an attractive scene and gives
access to the far side of the lake and the woodland beyond.

Because visitors return again and again, Hodsock's garden advisor, Kate
Garton, has added extra interest each year to wow everyone afresh. Hence
the fragrant flowering shrubs to complement the thousands of snowdrops
opposite a raised bed of aconites forming a ribbon of winter colour. And by
the lake, a variety of marginal plants, shrubs and trees have been
established to provide an interesting walk whatever the time of year.

Winter-interest plants include those with colourful twigs and bark, such as
the bright white birch trees and the multi-stemmed willows and dogwoods.
Winter-flowering cherry, viburnum and Cornus mas are underplanted with
irises, hellebores and crocuses, along with more aconites, and snowdrops of
course. And look out too for the winter-flowering honeysuckle walk.

Hodsock Priory, Blyth, Worksop, Notts, S81 0TY
Telephone: 01909 591204
Open daily during February/March (exact dates vary with the year and
weather, so check each year), 10am until 4pm.
Dogs in park only. Hot refreshments, winter flowering plant sales, toilets.
Admission fee (subject to change): 4 (adults), 1 (6-16).

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