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The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018

img 5467 1 1 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018

I was lucky enough to spend the last day at the RHS Chelsea flower show after winning a couple of tickets from Griffin Greenhouses. It was my first visit to Chelsea since 2005 so I was very excited to see the delights the show has to offer. This is always seen as the foremost flowershow in the uk, if not the world, so it a great place not just to see the new trends and thoughts coming though but also the new plants. It is also a great place to meet the growers on the stands in the grand marquee. But things have also changed with the type of sponsors on the garden, with more and more charity’s using the show to highlight their work and the plight of people from around the world. These gardens really do help to bring the work or highlight the issues that they are raising so well and it is amazing to see their message being highlighted by the skill of the designer and the beauty of plants and materials. This was my favourite from all the charity gardens img 5421 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018img 5419 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018img 5417 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018img 5415 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018

The Supershoes, laced with hope garden. This garden was designed reflecting a child’s cancer journey and of course their family. I thought the winding seat and most wonderful mural painted on the back, all leading to the statues at the back of a child and parent was a excellent idea with the underplanting being a mix of lupins, irises, alliums, geums reflecting the dark and also bright moments of the cancer journey, yes colours could of been done from the darker side of first being told that you have cancer to the lighter moments saying you are cured but every journey is different and child have the ability to find joy in the most darkest of times. Well worth checking out Supershoes charity at www.supershoes.org.uk

The main avenue show gardens were indeed stunning gardens, so well designed and built, they did all however suffer from the same problem at the time of my visit, everyone wanted to see them and it was like a polite rugby scrum to get up close to look at them, with every space made by departing viewers, fought by pushing and elbowing until you got to the front. Even when you got there, you had to contend with the airplane photographers, you all know the ones who stick their elbows out at 45 degree angles to take the pics and you end up with a nice pic of their elbows. Tbh I gave up after 3 goes, found it too much for me and it’s such a shame the RHS couldn’t find a better controlled way to let people admire the gardens, a slow moving line maybe? That way you could see the gardens the full length as they are designed and built to be seen instead of a little segment whilst having an elbow inserted into your side. That said, the ones I did see were rather very good and here’s a selection below of some of the great designs and building I got close too

img 5210 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018

This was the first one I saw and it was sponsored by the show sponsors M&G investments, designed by the very talented Sarah Price and but by Crocus. Its Mediterranean style garden, focused on plants that need less water, really well thought out garden that won a gold metal.

img 5397 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018

I loved the planting on this garden designed by Jo Thompson, built by Bespoke Outdoor spaces and sponsored by Wedgewood. I felt the garden was a lovely cool space that I certainly could relax and enjoy in. Another gold medal here

img 5427 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018

This garden sponsored by Greenlip, designed by Dr Catherine McDonald and built by landform consultants was filled by members of the pea family with the lupins really stealing the main show. I loved the fact that the whole garden was filled by the same family, showing off the whole diverse forms of the pea. Another gold medal garden

img 5463 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018

This garden designed by Laurie Chapworth and Patrick Collins, sponsored by Creativiersal and built by Tendercare, the Wuhan water garden was designed to be seen from all sides and was inspired by the natural and city environments in the Hubei province in China, I liked the idea but did find it a little bit of a mix for me. It won a bronze medal

img 5467 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018

Now this was a stand I wanted to play on and I will be honest and say it was the only one I saw, I would love to add to my own little garden, it was designed and built by Architectural Plants, the treehouse garden was just divine, great planting and a stunning well built tree house, just perfect place! Can just imagine my work office up there, sliding down when I ran out of cake and tea!

img 5406 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018

This garden just bowled me over by its design! Yes it is designed with cricket in mind, sponsored by British Council, designed by Sarah Eberle and build by Belderbos landscapes, it was designed with both India and England’s love of cricket and the dreams of young Indians growing up in India, won a silver gilt medal

img 5400 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018

I loved this garden by Kazuyuki Ishihara, sponsored by G-Loin. The Japanese hospitality garden is just so full of detail, from the moss right though to the waterfalls and just the natural look of the garden, made it look like it had been there for years, it was the only garden I saw that made me feel it had not just been build, stunning stunning garden, won a gold medal and best Artisian garden

img 5409 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018

And my last of the gardens I am highlighting, this is my style of garden! Called the A very English Garden, designed by Janine Cribbins, sponsored by The Claim Guys and built by Andrew Louden. Everything about this garden is brilliant, the planting, the very high standard stone work, it is indeed another garden I could see me doing at home. Really really impressive garden won a silver gilt medal and people’s choice of best artsian garden

This is the end of the second part of my 3 part look at Chelsea 2018 show, I hope you enjoyed it

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Six on Saturday 26th of May

img 2832 Six on Saturday 26th of May

Another busy week in the sun, well mostly sun and warm, ideal for hoeing off the weeds and dying in a few minutes, one of my favourite jobs is hoeing, that feeling of going though the bed, in a smooth calm action, with the sun on your back, only thing that beats it, is of course, hoeing a bed full of scented roses, total bliss!

Anyway I am writing this on Friday evening, excited like a excited thing that is indeed very excited, why you may ask, well I am off to The RHS flower show at chelsea, all thanks to those great people at Griffin Glasshouses, who ran a competition for a couple of tickets on Saturday and my name came out! It’s made my week! I have only been once and that was many many years ago. I am sooo excited I could crush a grape!

Right on to the first of the six and I was going to apologise for the amount of Geraniums in this weeks 6 but I won’t, why? Cause they are all brilliant that’s why,

img 2832 Six on Saturday 26th of May

Geranium Orkney Pink, how stunning is that!

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Time for a quick rose, this was the first one to flower for me last year, second this year Louis XIV, stunning colour, stunning scent, doesn’t stop flowering all summer

img 2827 Six on Saturday 26th of May

This six puts me in dreamland well Geranium dreamland, cracking newish form, featured in last years 6 but what a little stunner

img 2835 Six on Saturday 26th of May

Allium aflatunense is just starting to flower, moving on from the purple sensations that are just going over, cracking looking plants, supplied by Geetee bulbs

img 2834 1 Six on Saturday 26th of May

Geranium renardii is one of my favourites, the leaves are so tactile and soft and as pictured here, the flowers are so loved by bees as well as us. It makes great groundcover as well

img 2829 Six on Saturday 26th of May

Penstemon artic Fox is one of my favourite white penstemons and it works so well as white foil to many plants, great form indeed.

Well that’s my six for this week, I hope you enjoyed them, right I am off to the train station to catch a train! Will catch up with you all later, have a great weekend and enjoy the other six on Saturday over at the hosts site https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

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Davidia involucrata

davidia involucrata 5 Davidia involucrata

Davidia involucrata is now in full flower with the white blooms covering the trees almost like white doves fluttering in the branches or handkerchiefs that have been picked up by a big gust of wind and spread them all though the tree.

davidia involucrata 3 Davidia involucrataI can imagine how thrilling it must of been to first clap your eyes on this tree growing wild and seeing the stunning flowers for the first time just like the first Europeans discovering the tree for the first time. It was one lucky chap , a French missionary called father Armand David who first came across it, flowering away in a Chinese valley in 1871 and sent specimens back to France. The seeds didn’t arrive in Europe for a few more years indeed it was the first plant hunting trip by one of the greatest plant hunters of them all, Earnest Wilson who in 1901 managed to send back seeds to Kew Gardens. This was despite being attacked by bandits, suffering a deadly illness and recovering and finally nearly drowning! Damn glad I don’t have to suffer like that to get my hands on one!

davidia involucrata 7 Davidia involucrata

Never-less this beautiful tree with heart shaped leaves and seed pods that look like Christmas baubles hanging from the branches, is well worth the effort of going to see one in the next week or so, just admire its beauty!

davidia involucrata var vilmoriniana Davidia involucrata

Next week I will highlight another plant that is looking beautiful

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Six on Saturday- 19th of May 2018

img 2778 Six on Saturday  19th of May 2018

Well happy Saturday one and all and it’s great to be back writing the SoS for the first time in a couple of weeks. This excellent meme helps to focus your mind of 6 things that are happening in your garden, yes at times it can be hard to find them but other times you end up with 10 or so things you could include but have to whittle down to 6. This also allows you time to wander around the garden, relax and enjoy things that are happening in there at the time. I think anything that helps you enjoy the hard work you do in the garden and helps to share the successes and failures, is great in my book.

Anyway a lots happened in the last few weeks and the garden at home is really coming on, the roses are budding up and I managed to get to a great plant sale on bank holiday Monday and I do expect those plants brought will be making an appearance soon. My roses are a little late this year, full of bud with colour occurring, I feel they will be open soon, right mr Stone lets get on with the six!

img 2735 1 Six on Saturday  19th of May 2018

Geranium phaeum Connie Broe is one of those marmite plants, you either love it or hate it, I have a soft spot for her indeed and I love the marbling foliage on this plant and I look forward to seeing the foliage and flowers each year. As soon as she finishes flowering this year, I shall be lifting and dividing and replanting once more.

img 2776 Six on Saturday  19th of May 2018

One plant I think will feature heavily this week is Allium purple sensation and it is looking wonderful at the moment. It’s big selling point has to be the fact it gives a little bit of height and colour just after the tulips have finished

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About 18months ago, I went to a Niwaki training day held at Architectural Plants and led by the great Jake Hobson and this is the tree I cam back home with. I am still training it and have just given it its first trim up, quite pleased!

img 2778 Six on Saturday  19th of May 2018

Yes yes another geranium, this time it’s Himalayense Derek Cook, himalayense has a nasty habit of taking over the world, so far Derek has been well behaved, just hope he carries on like this!

img 2777 Six on Saturday  19th of May 2018

Not a rose flower but a close up of the new foliage and buds, just how lovely are the buds and new leaves of this moss rose called little gem, I love the softness and the scent from the mossy growth, soon the flowers will be out and the scent from those will be even better

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The lovely flowers of sea thrifts are slowly appearing and Pride of Düsseldorf is one of my favourites, such an easy to grow plant that loves a free draining site and makes a perfect addition to my Alpine pots.

Well that’s my six done from my garden this week, so many plants now are starting to wake up and start delighting us with their beauty. I hope you have a great weekend and check out the other six on Saturday over at the hosts site https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

Until next week, have fun in the garden or indeed just admiring plants

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Six on Saturday, 7th of April, 2018

img 0735 Six on Saturday, 7th of April, 2018

Well well well it had to happen, yes we had not one but two and I repeat it two, dry days oh my word!so nice not to get into the house each night as a sodden mess, wet clothes in the armfuls, filling up the house with um a pleasant soily damp smell that’s further enhanced by the following evening when the next load comes in, well I think it is pleasant, my partner will no doubt disagree!

In all seriousness, it has been wonderful to see the sun and the sun has brought out the flowers around the garden. It’s starting to have that spring feeling at last. Last year one of my roses was half open, this year, it’s only just broken into leaf this year and that says a lot doesn’t. But never mind, Mother Nature has a way of catching up with things and I dare say we will be getting a warm dry spell at sometime in the near future.

This weeks six on Saturday comes from my clients gardens. My garden is being rather stubborn and isn’t producing me with any plants of interest and I haven’t had time to do anything in there yet and that’s the keyword yet!

img 2485 Six on Saturday, 7th of April, 2018

I couldn’t resist this photo of Aesculus hippocastrum or horse chestnut of its leaves slowly unfurling, looks to me like it’s shading its eyes from the incoming big yellow ball that it’s not seen for a while or it’s waving to the sun saying hello. Ok ok bear with bear with its been a long cold winter…..

img 2481 Six on Saturday, 7th of April, 2018

Ahh another Ribes sanguineum ‘White Icicle’ now I do love ribes and the white form of the red flowering currant is another I look forward to in the spring months and here it is in the sun looking beautiful

img 2482 Six on Saturday, 7th of April, 2018

Euphorbia myrsinites was the first of this huge family I learnt as a young boy and still is a favourite of mine, I love the foliage effect as well as the acidic yellow flowers

img 2475 Six on Saturday, 7th of April, 2018

Ahh magnolias, once someone told me it was better to be late than to never arrive! Magnolias are living up to this saying this year. The cold spring has certainly put them back and it’s wonderful to see them flowering around the gardens once more, really makes me think spring is here! Oh before I forget it’s a magnolia stellata not sure on form, it’s under investigation, now where’s my magnolia book!

img 2483 2 Six on Saturday, 7th of April, 2018

The stinking hellebores look so majestic at this time of the year, helleborus foetidus is it’s botanical name, loves a bit of shade but again I love the green flowers, dipped in a little bit of purple around the edges

img 2490 Six on Saturday, 7th of April, 2018

Full apologies for the crap photo, the little bugger wouldn’t say still! I have a feeling this comma didn’t want to appear on six on Saturday, bad form I say, bad form. Seriously it was wonderful to see the sun brining out the butterflies. I saw so many brimstones (they didn’t want to be photographed either!) fluttering around the gardens and also one peacock and this one battered comma!

I hope you enjoyed my 6 on Saturday from my clients garden, If you did please checkout other people’s 6 on the memes founder website https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/ I love seeing other people’s plants and what’s happening in their gardens. Why not give it ago yourself next week and give me a shout so I can take a look

Until next week, have fun in the garden

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Six on Saturday – 10th of March,2018

img 2275 Six on Saturday   10th of March,2018

Well that didn’t last long did it, of course it’s the snow I am talking about, we had it quite deep here for us in Hampshire but sadly most of it was gone by Sunday, it did make the garden look beautiful and of course the plants have their colours enhanced with the pure white snow, making all the colours seemingly jumping out at you.

The rest of the week was pretty cool and dry with us right until Friday when it seems the heavens opened and everything got a good watering. I am still not 100% sure the winter has finished with us yet, there always seems to be a little bit of a sting in the tale of the winter

My six this week comes from my own garden, there’s a few things going on and being planned as well, I hope you enjoy this weeks six

img 4387 Six on Saturday   10th of March,2018

This is my last picture of my Edgeworthii I promise, well ok for this year and I will be honest it’s nearly finished but I love this picture of the flowers with it’s little snow hat on, it really bought out the colour in the picture, it looks stunning doesn’t.

img 2275 Six on Saturday   10th of March,2018

The very beautiful crocus tricolor, it’s a new in the garden this year but already I love the 3 different colours on the flowers, it really makes them stand out

img 0685 Six on Saturday   10th of March,2018

My new roses, not all for me but a few are! Always find it exciting getting new plants in, these are kneeled in or my version which involves a large pot and loads of bark mulch used to cover the roses. This is a brilliant way to keep the roots damp in the short time in a small garden where you haven’t got the space to kneel them into the garden

img 0684 Six on Saturday   10th of March,2018

And this is where they will be going, taking the Spotted laurel and planting under the window and replacing it with roses and a few more underplanting to get the best from the site, it just needed a little more colour in the area

img 0683 Six on Saturday   10th of March,2018

I don’t have that many daffodils in my garden, mainly as it in my mind suits the more formal approach that tulips give you, I caved in last autumn and thought I would try this smaller forms of daffodils like fortune, here just coming into flower, can’t wait to see them in full flower, hoping it is going to work

img 2277 Six on Saturday   10th of March,2018

And I love these little specie tulips, this is the first one opening for me and it’s called biforiformis, it’s tiny flowers look nothing like the huge forms of tulip that will be flowering very soon but these hold a little bit more charm for me

hope you enjoyed my 6 on Saturday from My garden. If you did please checkout other people’s 6 on the memes founder website https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/ I love seeing other people’s plants and what’s happening in their gardens. Why not give it ago yourself next week and give me a shout so I can take a look

Until next week, have fun in the garden

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Six on Saturday 24-02-2018

img 2176 Six on Saturday 24 02 2018

I do not believe it!!! A totally dry week here in Hampshire, one that’s flown by but still a totally dry week and what a difference seeing the sun has made. The soil is slowly drying out, as are all my work clothes and nature is springing into life so much quicker. The daffodils that line the roads near my house are showing more and more colour now, the cherry tree buds are swelling and wherever you go, new fresh leaves are slowing pushing out of their buds. Downside is that I did my first lawn mow this week, looked beautiful afterwards but I still hate mowing!

My six this week are of my garden, mainly as I fear my dear readers are getting a little bored of my humble patch. I am also away this weekend so please excuse the lack of responses, I will as ever respond in the end, I just maybe a little slower than normal!

So without any more playing around I give you (drum roll please) my six on Saturday!

img 2188 Six on Saturday 24 02 2018

Yes my daughters Venus fly plant is now flowering! The flowers aren’t that massive just the camera angle but still quite beautiful, never seen one flower before, I am guessing it will die after flowering but I maybe wrong

img 2177 Six on Saturday 24 02 2018

Started my rose pruning at home as well, got all the ones I wanted pruned and looking smart for the new year

img 2176 Six on Saturday 24 02 2018

Iris Rhapsody has just started flowering, it’s the last of my regticulata types to flower for me at home. I have fallen for these and I think my collection maybe growing even more next year!

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The playhouse is done!!!!! Well apart from the roof but that’s a job for a few weeks time, all the inside is done and ready for the kids to enjoy

img 2175 Six on Saturday 24 02 2018

Yes at last all my paper white narcissus are opening and the scent is a delight to the senses, really enjoying having them in the garden

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img 2199 1 Six on Saturday 24 02 2018

Ok this isn’t my garden or a clients garden although I did find this carpet of snowdrops while off to look at a job, I am hoping the the stunningness of the pic will allow Jon to forgive me!

hope you enjoyed my 6 on Saturday from My garden. If you did please checkout other people’s 6 on the memes founder website https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/ I love seeing other people’s plants and what’s happening in their gardens. Why not give it ago yourself next week and give me a shout so I can take a look

Until next week, have fun in the garden

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Plant of the Week-Acer griseum

acer griseum 2 Plant of the Week Acer griseum

acer griseum Plant of the Week Acer griseum

I have been wanting to add this most beautiful of trees to the plant of the week for many months now, just other plants have got in the way but on Saturday I was staring at quite a few of them at The Sir Hillier Gardens and decided this is the week to feature this tree.

acer griseum 2 Plant of the Week Acer griseum

Acer griseum is a small tree, native of the central area of China in the Sichuan, Shaanxi, Henan, Hubel,Gansu, Hanan and Shanxi provinces, where it grows in woodland between 1500-2000m above sea level. It was introduced into to western civilisation by one of the greatest plant hunters of them all, a chap called Ernest Wilson, for the famous Veitch Nursery in 1901. Ernest Wilson or Chinese Wilson introduced 1,200 new plants into our gardens during his time as a plant hunter in China. This included 400 new species and 4 new genera. The name comes from Ancient Greek, Acer means bitter and griseum means greyish.

acer grisum Plant of the Week Acer griseum

Acer griseum or the paper barked maple can grow up to 50ft tall over a period of many years, it is quite a slow growing tree and most specimens reach no more than 30ft often nearer 20ft in height. Making it an ideal tree for the smaller gardens. The leaves themselves as quite attractive with a greyish underneath and a light green on top and are formed of 3 leaflets on each leave. The leaves do turn a beautiful red and orange colour in the autumn months. The flowers are borne in mid spring around April time and are small and yellow in colour. As the common name may suggest, it’s for its bark this tree is really grown for. The bark ranges in the different shades of brown and peels off the tree in sheets of brown paper that is very stunning! This effect normally starts happening when the tree is at least 4 years old and so does require a good size specimen for the garden if you would like to see the best from it. With the sunlight behind it, it is breathtakingly beautiful and has fast become one of the main stays in a winter garden.

grisuem Plant of the Week Acer griseum

It is also Acer griseum’s ability to grow in all types of soils including clay, chalk and sand that has also helped it become so popular. The only thing it needs is for the soil to be moist and fairly free draining. It is also pretty disease and pest free. It’s size and slow growth, means it’s ideal for most size gardens, from the small to the massive, where it can look magnificent grown in small groves. It requires very little pruning, maybe removal of lower branches when young to give a clear stem if required and removal of crossing branches and dead wood, that is about it. The one fault Acer griseum has is that the seeds tend to be pathenocarpy, which means they will form but will contain no seed. This reduces the germination rate down to around 5% for them but seed is still one of the best ways to grow it. Grafting is another way it is propagated.

Garden wise, Acer griseum can be found in most large gardens, there’s a lovely one At Mottisfont Abbey gardens, great examples at RHS Wisley and Rosemoor and of course Sir Harold Hilliers Garden. It is also pretty easy to buy, with most good Nurseries and garden centres able to supply it

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Six on Saturday: 17.02.2018

img 2083 Six on Saturday: 17.02.2018

February is disappearing rather fast now with only one more Saturday left before we hit March. The mornings are certainly much lighter and as for the evenings,it’s almost light until 6pm now. Another month and the clocks will change and spring forward, at last we will be able to do a little more in the garden at home after finishing work. I still can’t believe the amount of rain we had, everywhere seems so water logged and it’s a surprise for us this Saturday, it’s the first one in 6weeks when I shouldn’t be raining, that is going to be so nice indeed.

Well it’s confession time, I was planning to do a six from a clients garden this week but I got caught up in the rose pruning so umm I didn’t get around to it sadly, so somehow I managed to get another six from my own garden, helped with a bit of sun I may add!

img 2075 Six on Saturday: 17.02.2018

Primroses to me signal the start of spring and even though this is a large flowering hybrid, it just looks full of promise and very delightful as well

img 2070 Six on Saturday: 17.02.2018

Ahh yes there will be a couple of snowdrops I think this one is called Sibbertorf white and it’s one of the pure white forms with only a tiny bit of green on the flower

img 2074 Six on Saturday: 17.02.2018

And then there’s Rosemary Burnham, one of my all time favourites, I love theses forms with green veining on the petals

img 2073 Six on Saturday: 17.02.2018

My paper white daffodils are nearly flowering, a tad earlier that I planned as they are under planted with some crocus, that Um where supposed to come up first and the paperwhites in end of April, oh well that’s gardening!

img 2078 Six on Saturday: 17.02.2018

My prostrate rosemary is just starting to flower once more I love having this in an old chimney pot, I think it really enhances the flowers and foliage,

img 2083 Six on Saturday: 17.02.2018

My beautiful Edgeworthii is now open and in full flower, the courtyard garden is filled with its stunning scent but it was totally amazing to see my first butterfly of 2018, a red admiral, land on it and feed on its nectar. Wow took my breathe way!

I hope you enjoyed my 6 on Saturday from My garden. If you did please checkout other people’s 6 on the memes founder website https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/ I love seeing other people’s plants and what’s happening in their gardens. Why not give it ago yourself next week and give me a shout so I can take a look

Until next week, have fun in the garden

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Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

img 4029 Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

Though my blogging, I sometimes get invited to some special open days and it was a lovely surprise to be invited up to Nottinghamshire to visit the place that really ignited the winter opening of gardens for snowdrops, Hodsock priory. They have been opening for snowdrops here since 1991 and currently welcomes over 20,000 people to enjoy the 4 million snowdrops on this privately owned 800 acre family estate. It has been in the safe keeping of the Buchanan family for over 200yrs, with Sir Andrew Buchanan handing the management reigns over to George Buchanan in 2006.

img 4045 Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

George Buchanan looking over the parkland

The snowdrops themselves grow in two main areas of the estate namely the garden that is 5 acres and the 12 acre Horsepasture Wood.

Horsepasture Wood is well over 400yrs old with some stunning 400yr old oaks and great beech’s trees mixed it. It is within this setting the snowdrops really carpet the woodland floor, followed by the slowly emerging bluebells, set in amongst the woods are some great tree stumps, used architectural within the settings, making a great back drop for the snowdrops. There is also an open fire, where everyday when the garden is open for the snowdrops, George meets people at 2pm and explains the estate and family history. As for the carpet of snowdrops, words in any form can not give justice to the spectacular display, so I won’t even both and let the photos do the talking

img 4027 Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

The walk into the woods

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The great warming fire! I think every garden should have one!

Over the past years they have moved the snowdrops from the fringe areas of the woodland into the middle areas where they can be enjoyed. This superb setting if the back drop for an outdoor theatre group, The Whispering wood Folk preforming the Snowdrop Queen over the 16th-18th of February.

The walk though to the main garden area from Horsepasture Wood is a walk of pleasure as you are flanked by sweet smelling Winter Honeysuckle Lonicera fragrantissima.

img 4125 Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

The main gardens are set in about 5 acres of land surrounding the main house, the use of water has been cleverly done so it reflects views of the house and garden. On your way into the main garden you follow this delightful stream, flanked with winter colour, provided by of course snowdrops, dogwoods and Salix all playing a part too.

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The main pond used to be part of the old mote in past times and on a still day catches the house perfectly

img 4073 Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

The scent of winter catches you as you wander around the gardens with Sarcococca and Hamamelis providing the overtures. The garden is home to lots of other spring flowering plants like Iris reticulata, winter aconites, cyclamen, crocus and of course the Snowdrops! They have over 17 different forms of snowdrops in the garden including Lady Beatrix Stanley who happened to be Sir Andrews grandmother!  Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

img 4075 Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

There’s also a huge fan of snowdrops in the main lawn, that sadly wasn’t out fully but will look amazing when it is!

img 4089 Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

The site of one of the old glasshouses was used to great effect,

img 4094 Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

The formal parterre area has standard roses planted in there

img 4086 Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

The gardens themselves are indeed full of little horticultural gems and the whole garden is a delight! It’s surprising to hear the main gardens and Horsepasture Wood are managed with just 6 part time workers including Sir Andrew and Lady Belinda. George did say this may change this year as 4 of them maybe retiring.

The gardens are a true delight of Nottinghamshire, they have a real family feel about them and it’s clear Sir Andrew and George Buchanan care deeply about the estate and its long term survival, long term plans include extending the woodland, producing cricket bat willow for production of cricket bats and expanding the wedding venue experience. This family pride really shines though on the estate and for me the 31/2hr journey seemed well worth it to see somewhere so special.

Hodsock priory is open for the snowdrops every day 10am-4pm until the 4th of March with the Whispering Woodfolk preforming this 16th-18th of February. There is also a couple of excellent eating points, the large heated marquee that produces rather excellent bacon rolls and another watery in the woods near the wood fire. Adults cost £5.00 and Children £1. Theres a £2.50 surcharge for the evening performance of the Snowdrop Queen.

For more information please see their website which is http://www.hodsockpriory.com/snowdrops/plan-your-visit/