In 2001, we began to clear the gardens of brash and brambles. In patches we could see snowdrops hanging on in the undergrowth. As the light was allowed back in, the snowdrops began to recover. We have encouraged them by dividing and top dressing the bulbs. Now they spread across two banks alongside the river and release wafts of honey scented perfume on sunny days.
Around these naturalized plantings we have added hellebores, crocuses, daffodils and blue chionodoxa. Throughout the upper gardens you can see pretty groupings of early flowering perennials and small bulbs.
Every year the gardens are open for a full week of snowdrops in February. The Gardens are open daily from 11pm -4pm and we welcome 1,000s of visitors and groups.
Visiting during snowdrop time:
As well as the snowdrops, this year's highlight and a new event to Easton Walled Gardens is our Botanical Art Exhibition, 'A Year in the Garden'
Come and see three accomplished and talented artists interpret the seasons through botanical illustration and painting. The exhibitors are part of a distinguished group of botanical artists stretching back to the 16th century. These skills are still used today to record flora throughout the world. They use extraordinary observation skills to reproduce the beauty and detail of the natural world.
The exhibition will take place in the Coach House at Easton Walled Gardens and entry is included with your garden admission fee.
After you've enjoyed the exhibition and had a wander around the courtyard looking at the plants available to purchase, turn your attention towards the gardens. Walk under the old gatehouse to take in the top half of the garden with its drifts of snowdrops, aconites and hellebores in the woodland walk. If you look carefully you will see wild violets shyly looking out from under their foliage. Turn the flowers of our hellebores up to face you and you will see a great mix of colours and forms including anemone-flowered, speckled, dark or picotee varieties.
Further along the winding path you arrive at the Cedar Meadow. This is specifically planted to be at its best during spring, whether you come for crocuses, snowdrops, daffodils or tulips.
The views across the valley, ornamental bridge and gardens are particularly good here.
Descending to the lower gardens (which has handrails but is tricky for wheelchair access) you will find massed drifts of snowdrops in a beautiful setting overlooking parkland and the river.
We like to keep a natural look to the big drifts on the snowdrop banks and so have avoided filling them with other bulbs. But as you make your way back towards the tearoom, you pass small beds where we have added cyclamen, pulmonarias, aconites, crocuses, early daffodils and irises in carefully considered colourways. Rare and unusual snowdrops can be found near the tearoom in purpose built beds.
Spring flowers vary their flowering times according to the light and weather. Some years the aconites and irises hang on until March while the hellebores are barely out. In other years the earliest flowers go over quickly and hellebores and crocuses provide plenty of colour amongst the snowdrops. We have spent a lot of time creating planting schemes that show colour and beauty whatever the weather has planned for the year.
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