The garden appears motionless beneath its blanket of snow. Yet if you listen carefully you may hear a sighing, a stirring, a whisper; tiny white heads forcing their way up through the frozen surface, emerging from their winter sleep. Strength belies their fragility, courage and tenacity are at odds with their delicate beauty!
Demure maidens, heads bowed as modesty demands, retiring yet playful, enticing, provoking. Lift their heads and look beneath their pure white tresses and you catch a glimpse of lime, a splash of yellow, tiny specks of green painted onto a trio of petals. Yet others sport petticoats spattered with green, crinoline layers of lace, dancing in the slightest breeze. Commonly known as ‘flowers of hope’ snowdrops are timely reminders that the shortest days have passed; there is a shifting of the seasons, and the promise of Spring.
Several gardens within an hours’ drive of Bath open in February to showcase their snowdrops – Colesbourne Park, East Lambrook Manor Gardens, Lacock Abbey, Painswick Rococo Gardens, Rodmarton Manor, The Bishop’s Palace Garden In Wells and my personal favourite Heale Garden in Middle Woodford near Salisbury laid out in 1910 by Harold Peto of Iford Manor fame with streams traversing the garden on their way to the nearby River Avon and the elegance of snowdrops blending beautifully with the gaudiness of their companions, the bright yellow aconites.