February is snowdrop time here in the UK.
I usually like to go on a snowdrop stroll, preferably a winter woodland walk; at this turning point in the year- poised as it is between the gloominess of winter and the hopefulness of spring. A particular favourite place of mine to visit is the Painswick Rococo Garden.
The Painswick Rococo garden is renowned for its swathes of snowdrops with wave upon wave of lush green leaves, splashed and stippled with spotlit creaminess and whiteness.
The greens and whites of the ground cover contrast perfectly with shaded tall black-brown trunks of towering trees. Delicate traceries are formed from the countless tiny gauzy twigs, loosely intertwining, weaving a fine and airy canopy overhead. Inescapably, the eye is drawn upwards; entranced and wondering at the pale grey-blueness above.
It’s best if you can to go, on a bright sunny day when the light is luminous and the sky is a wintry blue. The low sun casts extended shadows which seem to slip and spill carelessly around and about on the grassy ground.
There are about 6 acres of grounds to explore within the Rococo Garden, and a walk could be long or short depending on how much exploring you wish to do. The main part of the garden is set within a bowl and so much of it can be viewed from high terraces.
Some parts are manicured and other areas have a more wild feel. I particularly like the waterfall shown below, which is in a shady dell with impressive naturalised snowdrops covering the steep bank.. This part of the garden is damp and mossy with ferns too, it has a sombre and melancholy mood in a Victorian sort of way.
When the snowdrops are out they also hold special talks and you can listen to the history of the garden and learn about the different types of snowdrops that are grown. They also have a small nursery selling a few unusual varieties – although not enough to suit the serious galanthophiles. There is a cafe too for coffees, lunch and teas – so you could spend a whole day there if you are not in a hurry and are so inclined.
To continue the tranquil mood here is Chopin’s Nocturne: Opus 9, No 2 in E flat – written between 1830 – 1832 and played by Sergei Rachmaninoff; most likely in the 1920’s.
SOURCES AND RESOURCES
The images of the garden are all by myself and the Sunlit Snowdrops photograph can be purchased from Red Bubble.
This is a link to the Painswick Rococo Garden website.