Rode Hall and Gardens | Snowdrop Walk

Two snowdrops: just hanging out

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.

Double snowdrop with strong green markings

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.

Comet snowdrop with reflection

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’).

Double snowdrops

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.

John Gray snowdrop

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.

Fish in a snowdrop

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 snowdrop walk
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.


20 Replies to “Rode Hall and Gardens | Snowdrop Walk”

  1. What a reward! I’m glad you had a fairly nice day for this adventure. I have to admit the snowdrops are growing on me, but our climate is iffy, so I have to stick to the tried and true. Will you be in England when I’m there with a group in June 18-28?

    1. I’m expecting to be in England, though some friends may be over from the US this summer, which would mean a trip down south. Assuming I’m home, I’d love to meet up somewhere if you have half a chance, though I can see you’re going to have your hands full. I’m not demanding, even just a quick hug, a ‘how are you doing?’ and a ‘have you spotted that plant yet?’ in a garden would be lovely! Let’s wait till nearer the time.

      1. Yes, I would love to! We have met once before at a GWA event, possibly Tucson, as that is the last one I attended. You were with D A Roses at the time. I can’t make California this year, either, as I’m in England for a second tour, September 4-14, and might extend my stay to see Beth Chatto’s garden. Instead, I’m going to the Garden Bloggers Fling in Toronto in early June, which will be a first for me. I do hope we can catch up sometime!

        1. Do you know, I thought we might have, but I settled in to knowing you online and put it to the back of my mind. You have a wonderful calendar of events planned, although I can see our schedules might have us criss-crossing in opposite directions to each other, I’m sure we’ll be able to work something out. I missed the annual GWA symposium last year, sadly as I love those events, but hope to call in on a regional event in South Carolina soon. I bet the Garden Bloggers Fling is a lot of fun: if Toronto is anything like Quebec, the gardens will be lovely too. I’m looking forward to your pictures!

          1. I kind of like that you think I would do that. But I wouldn’t. I hadn’t realised when I posted the picture that anyone would fear for my life. You weren’t the first. It was a real alligator but very much an ex alligator. 🙂

  2. Love those dainty flowers. This one is a different species and I will look for this type. Thank you for sharing your rewarding walk.

  3. I wish I lived closer, this looks a wonderful garden to visit, love the way mirrors have been put in to help enjoy the snowdrops too.

    1. It’s thoughtfully planted – a walk in a snowdrop wood on a sunny February day is always a pleasure, but this garden had more variety than I was expecting. There’s also a small island in a lake where herons nest.

  4. How beautiful! I have been wanting to go on a snowdrop walk but the weather has definitely been against me so thank you for sharing your stunning photographs.
    Jude xx

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