Top tips for February Garden Opening

With the Gardens opening in only a couple of weeks for the National Garden Scheme, we spoke to Bernard Opera, senior gardener, to ask what we should look out for. Here are some of his top suggestions.  


Snowdrops and Snowflakes!

Snowflake, Leucojum aestivum

“The first, and perhaps most obvious thing to look for at a Gardens Open Day in February is the humble snowdrop. “Galanthus nivalis – the common snowdrop – are well known as one of the first signs of Spring and the sight of these little white flowers can’t help but make you look forward to warmer days!” 

Bernard also suggests taking a closer look at some more unique varieties which can be found in various locations throughout the Gardens and Estate. 

“In the Walled Garden, there are some lovely small collections of snowdrops. Look out for Jade, which have a beautiful tinge of green on the outside petals. Another variety is Sam Arnott, named after Samuel Arnott, a keen gardener and snowdrop fanatic, who discovered the variety which tends to be bigger, with larger flowers. This variety also has a lovely honey scent.” 

Bernard also recommends visiting the rarely open Sir David’s Garden. “The garden, which is usually private, was originally created by Sir David Scott (cousin of the Duke of Buccleuch) and has a selection of snowdrop varieties to enjoy. 

 “The wilderness, or the woodlands, are also worth exploring. Enjoy a carpet of Galanthus nivalis flore pleno between the trees. But beware of the bear!”


Early Bloomers

There is, of course, much more to see at the Gardens opening than just snowdrops. Bernard encourages visitors to look out for some early blooming flowers with bursts of colour; Eranthis Hyamalis (Winter Aconite), with their warm golden flowers are doing their best to cheer up the landscape. In the Walled Garden the distinctive cyclamen coum also adds some much-needed colour. There are also various crocuses and snowflakes to see and by the 19th Bernard hopes there will also be some little irises.  

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