Snowdrops at Colesbourne Park.
Deep in the heart of the Churn Valley in the Cotwolds, you’ll find Colesbourne Park; home to one of the largest collections of snowdrops in the UK.
Set in 10 acres of private gardens and woodland walks, this garden comes alive in the depths of Winter. When everything else is still sleeping, this garden is alive with a mix of around 350 cultivars of snowdrops. As far as the eye can see there are snowdrops, they are accompanied by the colourful hellebores and cyclamen which makes the whites appear whiter than white.
Many of these little beauties originated from the plantings of Henry John Elwes, including Galanthus elwesii.; a species is named after him after returning from his plant expeditions to Turkey in 1874.
Even St James’ Church, set within the grounds, is covered with snowdrops.
However, it wasn’t just snowdrops that H J Elwes brought back with him from his travels. Over 100 different species of trees also found their way to Gloucestershire creating the arboretum that provides a backdrop to these gorgeous little plants.
It’s no wonder that’s it’s also known as “England’s greatest Snowdrop Garden”.
Colesbourne Park is halfway between Cirencester and Cheltenham. It’s only open for 5 consecutive weekends during February and March and is well worth a visit. Sadly it’s only open to local residents this year, (2021), but I’m hoping to visit again next Winter.
All images taken on a previous visit in February 2015.