Do drop in!: Snowdrops should be at their peak right now

Do drop in! Snowdrops should be at their peak right now, carpeting our woods and gardens with white – and here’s where to spot them

  • Constance Craig Smith says snowdrops signal the beginning of warmer days 
  • The gardening expert claims the blooms are the earliest Spring bulbs to appear 
  • She rounded up a selection of the best gardens for viewing snowdrop displays 
  • Constance revealed two of the best displays are in Gloucestershire  

Snowdrops are among the earliest spring bulbs to appear, a welcome sign that before long the days will get warmer and our gardens will be bursting with colour.

They tend to spread quite quickly, and to see these flowers growing in great drifts is a breathtaking sight. 

February is when most snowdrop gardens are approaching their peak, so the next few weeks are the time to get out and visit some of the many gardens across the country that have snowdrop openings.

Two of the best snowdrop displays are in Gloucestershire. 

Colesbourne Park has 350 different varieties, some of which date back to the late 19th century. 

British gardening expert Constance Craig Smith rounded up a selection of the best gardens to visit displays of snowdrops including Welford Park in Bekshire (pictured)

The garden is open on Saturdays and Sundays until 3 March. Entry £8; 

At the fascinating Painswick Rococo Garden, you’ll find a carpet of five million snowdrops blooming in a secluded valley. 

Open daily. Entry £8.95;

Another celebrated snowdrop garden is Cambo in Fife, where you can explore more than 70 acres of snowdrop woodland. 

There are plenty of snowdrop-related activities during the flowering season, and the garden is open daily. Entry £5.50;

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Welford Park in Berkshire, where The Great British Bake Off is filmed, has a particularly lovely snowdrop walk. 

Open Wednesday-Sunday until 3 March. Entry £8;

More than 92 smaller gardens will be opening for the National Garden Scheme’s fourth annual Snowdrop Festival. 

The NGS, whose garden openings raise millions every year for charities, has found that snowdrop visiting is increasingly popular.

Constance revealed Higher Cheruber in Devon (pictured) has more than 400 varieties of snowdrops across its grounds 

‘Our snowdrop days attract tens of thousands of visitors,’ says NGS chief executive George Plumptre. 

‘We’re all desperate to get outdoors by now and snowdrops are the perfect way to lift your spirits in winter.’

Among the gardens opening for the NGS is Higher Cherubeer in Devon, where the 1¾-acre grounds have more than 400 varieties of snowdrops, mixed in with cyclamens and hellebores. Open 23 February; entry £4.

Snowdrops – did you know? 

  • Snowdrops belong to the genus Galanthus, and snowdrop enthusiasts are known as ‘galanthophiles’.
  • Traditionally, snowdrops were used to treat headaches and as a painkiller.
  • Single bulbs of desirable varieties can fetch extraordinary prices. In 2012 a Scottish-bred snowdrop with a yellow head and yellow markings on the white petals sold on eBay for £725.
  • Snowdrops require good drainage to thrive. If you garden on heavy clay, add grit to the soil, or grow your snowdrops in a raised bed.
  • The best time to buy snowdrops is just after flowering, when the leaves are still green. Many nurseries sell them in bundles at this time – look out for snowdrops ‘in the green’.

At Gelli Uchaf in Carmarthenshire, you’ll find crocuses, scillas, daffodils and hundreds of thousands of snowdrops, including some rare Welsh varieties. 

Open 23 and 24 February and by appointment the rest of the month; entry £5.

Horkesley Hall in Essex is a romantic eight-acre garden with a formal terrace, mature parkland and a fine display of snowdrops. 

Open 5.30pm to 8pm this Tuesday, when visitors can enjoy an evening snowdrop walk illuminated by fairy lights, and during the afternoon on 24 February; entry £6.

The 1½-acre garden at Summerdale House in Cumbria, which surrounds an 18th-century former vicarage, has lovely views and a large collection of snowdrops and primroses. 

Open today and tomorrow, 22 and 23 February, and 1 and 2 March; entry £4.

Snowdrops don’t just grow in the countryside: at 72 Church Street in Sheffield, hidden behind a busy street, is a peaceful garden with a dazzling display of snowdrops. 

Open 24 February and by appointment the rest of the month; entry £3.50.  

For details of all the NGS gardens mentioned here, visit

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