First signs of spring at Cambridgeshire’s snowdrop gardens

Caldrees hellebores

Caldrees hellebores - Credit: PENNY MILES

Fresh air and the beautiful first signs of spring are a reminder of the changing seasons and the promise of what’s to come.

It’s time to shake off the winter with the National Garden Scheme 2022 Snowdrop Festival!

These glorious harbingers of the wonderful life of gardens to come can be viewed in three Cambridgeshire gardens during February.

Clover Cottage

Clover Cottage - Credit: PENNY MILES

It will be third time lucky on Saturday 12 for Caldrees Manor at Ickleton, with its first snowdrop opening under the scheme.

Caldrees had planned to show off its superb display of snowdrops in February 2020, but Storm Dennis put paid to that.

Lockdown in 2021 once again stopped the opening.

Clover Cottage

Clover Cottage - Credit: PENNY MILES

This garden is a must-see for snowdrop enthusiasts, with more than 20 acres to explore and carpets of snowdrops at every turn.

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The winter scene also offers a chance to appreciate the structure of this magnificent garden.

The next weekend, Saturday 19 and Sunday 20, brings a chance to see more than 100 years of snowdrops, aconites and daffodils at Landwade Hall, Exning.

Caldrees cornus and hares

Caldrees cornus and hares - Credit: PENNY MILES

This follows its very successful debut opening under the National Garden Scheme last spring.

This four-acre garden, open from 10am to 2pm both days, includes a small 15th private century church, moat and ancient foundations of the original house on this site.

At West Wickham, Clover Cottage will also open on Sunday 20 from 2-4pm, to show its superb display of snowdrops combined with winter aconites, hellebores and miniature narcissus.

Landwade beside the moat

Landwade beside the moat - Credit: PENNY MILES

This garden has attracted international attention for its gorgeous cottage-style planting. It will also open on February 27 and March 6. Plants will be for sale. 

Jenny Marks, county organiser for Cambridgeshire, said: “Following the restrictions of the last two years, there has never been a greater need to start the new year with the beautiful freshness of the first blooms of spring.

"And, on a wintry day, there is nothing better than visiting a garden iridescent with one of the earliest flowering plants of the year.

Clover Cottage

Clover Cottage - Credit: PENNY MILES

"Whether you enjoy carpets of naturalised white flowers in woodlands or gardens boasting a colourful mix of snowdrops, hellebores and other early spring flower, there is something for galanthophiles and garden enthusiasts alike here in Cambridgeshire during our Snowdrop Festival this year.”

Visitors can pay at the gate for Clover Cottage and the main Caldrees Manor opening on February 12. 

Or book in advance online via https://ngs.org.uk/view-garden/37772 and https://ngs.org.uk/view-garden/22342

Cornus

Cornus - Credit: PENNY MILES

Tickets should be booked in advance for Landwade Hall, to help manage parking, via: https://ngs.org.uk/view-garden/42422

Cambridgeshire’s snowdrop openings are among 111 gardens due to open with the scheme in 2022 between February and October, including 26 new gardens.

Caldrees early spring

Caldrees early spring - Credit: PENNY MILES

Landwade portrait

Landwade portrait - Credit: PENNY MILES