Every February I like to visit at least one snowdrop garden. In the past I've been to Painswick in Gloucestershire and Kingston Bagpuize in my own shire (Oxon), this year it was Welford Park in Berkshire.
snowdrops and aconites in front of Welford Park house
I read about Welford in the RHS journal. It's known for it's carpet of over 10 million snowdrops, the common Galanthus nivalis. The idea of a carpet of snowdrops intrigued me, so we made it our snowdrop destination for 2011.
a carpet of snowdrops
And what a carpet! I've never seen so many snowdrops in one place before. It was impressive. However, also a little disappointing. They have a fence around the main snowdrop garden, which means you cannot walk through the snowdrop carpet. I found this really disappointing. I yearned to stroll through the snowdrops and it felt like a 'keep of the grass' sign. It really wouldn't be difficult to have a few paths go through the snowdrops and would make such a difference to the experience.
the shadow to the bottom left is the fence that prevents you from tip-toeing through the snowdrops
So although it was an impressive sight, the snowdrops at Kingston Bagpuize remains my favourite snowdrop haunt. Kingston Bagpuize has no fences, has a large variety of snowdrops including their own Galanthus Bagpuize Virginia, and you can get up close and personal with them.