Looking for snowdrops in Surrey with the National Trust
PUBLISHED: 09:58 09 January 2015 | UPDATED: 11:56 09 January 2015
©National Trust Images/Stephen Robson
Flowering snowdrops traditionally herald the end of winter and provide welcome assurance that the brighter days of spring are on their way
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For that first glimpse of spring in Surrey, from late January to the end of February, look out for beautiful, tiny snowdrops, at Winkworth Arboretum and Polesden Lacey. These places are always popular with visitors who come to see the delicate white flowers light up the gardens and countryside in winter.
“It is always a joy when the first snowdrops break through the frozen ground,” says Matthew Oates, nature and wildlife expert for the National Trust. “Along with aconites and primroses, they are the harbingers of spring. The flowers themselves arrive later in pure white glory and, on mild, late winter days, are beloved by honey bees. They are best seen in half-light and, of course, amidst the winter snow.”
Daniel Madden, senior gardener at Winkworth Arboteum, meanwhile says: “We have small clusters of snowdrops throughout the upper arboretum here at Winkworth, mainly in compact drifts along the main paths and slopes. They provide a beautiful show in the first weeks of February. Of all the varieties Galanthus nivalis, the common snowdrop, is the most famous and we have recently planted more of these on the lawn outside our tearoom.”
Here are the special National Trust places in Surrey to enjoy snowdrops:
Winkworth Arboretum, near Godalming
Tel: 01483 208477
The woodlands in Winkworth Arboretum are home to thousands of snowdrops, and other winter-flowing species including 15 different types of witch hazel, to cheer the spirits.
Polesden Lacey, near Bookham
Tel: 01372 452048
Polesden Lacey has over 20 varieties of snowdrops in and amongst the plants in its winter garden as well as yellow Winter Aconites and flowering Persian Ironwood trees. There are also snowdrops along the Lime Walk on the way to the mansion.
Claremont Landscape Garden, near Esher
Tel: 01372 467806
Look out for snowdrops in the small woodland area in the garden.
Runnymede and Ankerwyke, near Egham
Tel: 01784 432891
Carpets of snowdrops romantically cluster round the ancient Ankerwycke yew and priory ruins.
• For more information, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/londonandsoutheast