Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Snowdrops in and around Kenilworth

I really love snowdrops and each year around this time we go out to seek those little harbingers of Spring. We used to go to Lydiard Park which was just a couple of miles from where we used to live in Swindon. There the snowdrops really do look like patches of snow and the scent is just wonderful. Whilst walking and cycling around Kenilworth, I have been peering into gardens looking out for the first ones. We were very surprised to see a small clump of daffodils in flower in a very sheltered spot not far from here, just a week ago. They must be a very early flowering cultivar.

My Valentine and I went out to enjoy ourselves this weekend. On Saturday we started off with a visit to Hill Close Gardens. They were holding a special snowdrop exhibition and had set up some tables at waist height, with well labelled specimens in their new centre. There were some lovely special ones which I shall look out in specialist catalogues, but for now, we can enjoy the normal single and double blooms in our garden. They also had a few examples of winter and early spring flowers, and did pretty well considering how much colder the weather is this year. Afterwards David and I walked around the little parcels of gardens and admired clumps of snowdrops under their hedgerows.

On Sunday with the warmer weather we took a circular walk up to the Castle where we spied a few snowdrops: along the side of the drive, and again in one of the small gardens by the gate house, there were a few. Later by St Nicholas's Church there were some clumps up. There are still some to emerge, and to think, the area was covered with snow only a few days ago.


We bought some snowdrops from Hill Close Gardens and here they are ready to be divided up and planted out in the garden. On Monday I was sitting in the conservatory with the window open and was drawn outside by loud buzzing. About 10 bees were busy on the snowdrops flowers.

We left some wonderful drifts of snowdrops in our garden in Swindon. Last year I planted about six pots of snowdrops in the garden in Kenilwoth, which I had bought during our break in Norfolk last spring. Together with this lot, we have the makings of nice displays for future years, and I shall be on the look out for the early bees and bumblebees next year.

On gardeners question time this time last year, the panel were asked: As it is leap year, are there any jobs the panel would do now and again in four years time? I remembered one of the answers which was to divide clumps of snowdrops. It is much better to plant snowdrops out when they are green, rather than in the form of dried bulbs. I expect my snowdrops to bulk up well over the next three years and look forward to splitting them in 2012!
These are just a few snowdrop facts posted up at Hill Close Gardens:


  1. How Lovely Hill Top Gardens looks. I'm so glad you wrote about them and I will look forward to visiting them later in the year. Your snow drops look wonderful.

  2. Kath says the snowdrops in Lydiard Park are not as good as they were since all the restoration work was done. However there is a good display in the cemetry this year. Good tip on leap year splitting!