Thursday, 13 February 2014

Spring Gardens in the West County

Spring is on its way! Really, it is! The lighter evenings are the boldest sign yet that the murky winter is about to give way to bright colours and warmer temperatures. If you need proof, get along to these West Country gardens, which are eagerly preparing for your visit.

Snowdrop Valley is open now for visitors to its beautiful carpet of snowdrops that bloom throughout February each year. The privately owned estate is in a hidden part of Exmoor, close to Wheddon Cross, and has not suffered flooding so its display stands to serve as a true harbinger of spring, with its gleaming white petals and lush green leaves brightening any day. The valley is complete with cafes, tearooms and an aptly named pub for such a place of such natural beauty – the Rest and Be Thankful Inn.

Forde Abbey in Charde, Somerset, is another vision, with access to their gardens for Snowdrop Weekends until 23rdFebruary. The venue also has a Crocus Week from 1st-9th March.

Pencarrow near Bodmin in Cornwall holds the second of its Snowdrop Sundays on 16th February. The event is held in support of a local charity, the Merlin MS Centre.

Daffodils are already starting to spear through the ground in some places. Don’t miss Daffodil Day at Hartland Abbey on 16th March. These particular clusters of colour have history – some were planted as long as 150 years ago, and are kept company by camellias, hellebores, early spring bulbs, mimosas and wild primroses and violets.

And if April is your window of opportunity for a Spring break, head to Bluebell Sundays at Hartland Abbey, on the 20th and 27th April.

Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver