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Carly O’Brien
Written by Carly O’Brien 16th February 2017

If you go down to the woods today...

Now that the days are finally getting longer, this weekend is the perfect time to pull on a pair of wellies and head in search of snowdrops. The Flower of Hope, or common snowdrop, Gilanthus nivalis is the first bulb to bloom after the winter, flowering between January and March. We’re spoilt for choice in our country for wonderful woodland walks, so here’s a small selection of destinations on the doorstep where you can enjoy these cheerful little flowers.

Over one hundred varieties of snowdrops exist, and Evenley Wood Garden in Northamptonshire showcases many of them. The privately-owned woodland garden has breath-taking carpets of white and their Snowdrop Days run from now until the 28th February.

Stowe Gardens in Buckinghamshire are listed by the National Trust as one of their top gardens to enjoy this winter. See how many snowdrops the children can count in the Sleeping Wood when they need a break from exploring over 250 acres of the Capability Brown-designed gardens complete with lakes, classical temples and wooded valleys.

The Woodland Trust can advise you of woods worth a visit in your area and one of the largest ancient woodlands in Buckinghamshire is Penn Wood. Nestled in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it’s a great place to hunt for snowdrops and flora and fauna of all kinds.

Snowdrops have delighted people for centuries. In 1856 after the Crimean War, returning soldiers were so enchanted by snowdrops on the battlefields that they brought bulbs home for their own gardens. And the wonderful thing about snowdrops is that they thrive in any garden. Just make sure you plant them after flowering when the foliage is just dying back in late spring. Then next year when you draw back your curtains you’ll have your own cheerful sign that spring is just around the corner.