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Snowdrops at Kingston Lacy


Spring is just around the corner! In early February I went to see a wonderful display of snowdrops at Kingston Lacy in Dorset. Snowdrops are among the first spring flowers we see. They can still be found growing wild in our woodlands but many people also grow them in their gardens.


Kingston Lacy House. Normally the house and gardens are open from March onwards, but they have special 'snowdrops' days in February when they open the gardens so that visitors can come and see these flowers. I went on a Sunday afternoon when the gardens were crowded with people viewing the snowdrops. It is better to go on a weekday if you can, when it is less busy.


In one corner of the estate there is this sheltered Victorian garden with paths meandering amongst the raised beds. Here the snowdrops were springing up between the ferns. The Victorians were very keen on growing ferns and often built special areas like this to grow them. Textiles of the 19th century often feature ferns in their design.

This lady was busy taking photos, as many people were. 



There were a number of different varieties of snowdrops on display, with helpful signs telling you which variety they were.


A view looking out of this walled garden into the surrounding parkland. I liked the lovely old metal gates. The sign attached to the gate just says that this path is closed for maintenance.


The house is surrounded by a large area of parkland and lots of mature trees. There were quite a few pine trees, which grow well in this part of the country. You often see ones that were planted in the 19th century as people associate pines with Scotland (where certain varieties grow freely). Queen Victoria loved everything Scottish and started this trend which even spread to garden design.


Once you left the walled garden there was a winding woodland path that you could follow past thousands of snowdrops. There were a lot of felled trees here and a sign stating that this was the site of an Edwardian Japanese garden that they are just starting to restore. I seem to find Japanese gardens wherever I go! It had been a naturalistic woodland garden with bamboos and rhododendrons amongst the larger trees. 


The path ended amongst these tall trees. They must be lovely and shady in the summer, but they look rather gloomy at this time of year. However the snowdrops certainly lightened the scene.


Not everyone was interested in the flowers. A large puddle is much more fun.


There were also further drifts of snowdrops in the park, but I did not have time to see them all. The fences around the trees are to protect them from the deer than wander freely in the grounds.


So pretty. The petals have such delicate colouring.

If you want to visit Kingston Lacy it is just to the west of Wimborne in Dorset. It is owned by the National Trust. If you visit their website you can find out the opening days for viewing the snowdrops.


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