Hodsock Priory, Nottinghamshire, UK

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Snowdrop spectacular at Hodsock Priory

Swathes of snowdrops in woodland - Copyright (c) Stuart MaKeggie

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.

Snowdrops - Copyright (c) Alec Scaresbrook

Copyright (c) Alec Scaresbrook

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.

More interest every year

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.

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.

Essential information

Hodsock Priory, Blyth, Worksop, Notts, S81 0TY
Tel: 01909 591204 Hodsock website

Open daily during February/March (exact dates vary with the year and weather, so check each year), 10am until 4pm. Bring wellies! Check their website for other advice, plus information about discounts and special offers.

Dogs in park only, not gardens or woodland (except assistance dogs). Hot refreshments, winter flowering plant sales, toilets.

Admission fee (2015) -includes parking: £5 (adults), £1 (6-16), free for wheelchair users.

Hodsock’s Blog – Glimmer of Spring

For 2014:
Other events: Bluebell walks, wedding fairs, house tours.

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