The National Trust’s Nymans gardens in Handcross have made it into the trust’s national ‘top ten’ list of the very best places to see snowdrops.
Nymans faced stiff competition from famous gardens across the country but was selected due to consistently strong displays, in early February.
A mild winter, with just one cold snap so far, also bodes well for snowdrop numbers at this property, the trust says.
In anticipation of strong public interest in snowdrop blooming dates, Nymans Assistant Head Gardener, Phil Holmes, has set up the garden’s very first ‘flowering phone line’.
This recorded message gives regular updates on what is flowering in the garden in January and February.
Phil has already counted 60 different flowering plant species – more than in previous years - and once the snowdrops appear in quantity, the recorded message will be updated with the latest snowdrop news.
To listen to Phil’s latest message, call 01444 405250 and choose option two.
From late January to early March, large displays of snowdrops start to appear in the Top Garden, the Wall Garden, and along the famous Winter Walk.
Visitors can also hunt for the special ‘double-flowered’ snowdrop, as well as swathes of snowflakes – similar to snowdrops, but with taller, more upright stems, and thicker, greener leaves.
“We’re really thrilled to have been selected as one of the National Trust’s ‘top ten’ snowdrop destinations, and we hope to be rolling out the ‘white carpet’ in the next week or so,” said Phil.
“Snowdrops appear in extensive drifts under our early flowering magnolias and camellias, and the sight of them really lifts the spirits.
“They mark the beginning of a sensational sequence of colour at Nymans, and by Valentine’s Day, we’ll have over 150 different types of plant flowering at Nymans; snowdrops are definitely the stars of the show though!”
Nymans is awash with floral colour and scent in mid-winter, from rare hellebores, bright blue pulmonaria, the pinks and purples of winter heather, and deliciously fragrant daphnes and witch hazels.
Snowdrops are very popular with children, who love the ‘miniature’ flowers. Nymans is looking forward to welcoming families over the half term period, for a ramble amongst the snowdrops.
Snowdrops and tradition
Village girls used to wear bunches of snowdrops as symbols of purity when celebrating the Feast of Purification of St Mary on 2 February.
For more information call Nymans on 01444 405250.