My reward for waiting for finer weather? A blissful walk among some late February snowdrops, dancing on the wind at Rode Hall in Cheshire, North West England.
Dancing on the wind isn’t ideal for photography, but it’s far better than tossed about by a wild winter storm. That’s why I cancelled my planned visit last Sunday afternoon to Bank Hall, Lancashire, where I could have found snowdrops nearer home.
Instead I ventured further afield to Rode Hall in Cheshire. I’m glad I did: it’s a lovely, well-tended garden. The gardeners have even thoughtfully placed tiny mirrors here and there so visitors can see inside snowdrops without too much bending (this one is Galanthus ‘Comet’).
Visitors will find more unusual varieties of snowdrops dotted in the borders with hellebores, winter aconites (Eranthis hyemalis) and crocuses. Drifts of the common snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) line the paths and spread off into the woods.
One of the gardeners kindly took a moment to make sure I didn’t miss seeing a famous old cultivar, Galanthus ‘John Gray’ (pictured above and below). He showed me how, by gently pulling back one of the outer petals, you could see the green marking was shaped like a fish.
It reminds me how some types of larkspur have a tiny rabbit in each flower. Don’t believe me? Wait till summer and see for yourself. I love the way gardeners enjoy these small quirks of nature and pass them on to others.
Rode Hall and Gardens, Scholar Green, Cheshire, ST7 3QP
Rode Hall is open for snowdrop walks for about a month each year. You don’t need to be a passionate galanthophile to enjoy the experience – it’s photographer-, dog- and children-friendly. The 2015 snowdrop season ends on 8th March. Check their website for details.
Bank Hall, Bretherton, Lancashire PR26 9RT
The Friends of Bank Hall have received lottery funding to save a Jacobean mansion. It has several open days each year: our last chance to see snowdrops there in 2015 is Sunday 1st March from noon to 4 o’clock. Their website has news of open days and information about volunteering.
I’m linking this post to the weekly photo challenge: reward.