Published: 06:00, 10 February 2021
| Updated: 14:34, 16 March 2021
Mother Nature has just the thing to lift our spirits and enjoy together - snowdrops. Their tiny white blooms come out in mid February, and in some spots, provide a carpet of white.
We take a look at some of the Kent spots you can see them if you’re lucky enough to live nearby.
Hever Castle, near Edenbridge
Around 90,000 snowdrop bulbs have been planted in the castle’s gardens over the last few years by the gardening team, including a mix of single and double snowdrops.
There are also some unusual varieties to seek out such as the yellow tipped Wendy’s Gold; a giant Galanthus called Colossus, which at nine inches is one of the tallest snowdrops you can find, and Galanthus Green Brush, with its unusual green-tipped flowers.
A walk in the gardens at this time of year will boost your spirits and the snowdrops will remind you that spring’s on its way and the gardens reopen on Wednesday, February 10.
If you live locally, you can wrap up warm and stroll through the rest of the extensive gardens and grounds to get your daily exercise and enjoy snowdrops plus other blossoms such as camellia, quince, daphnes, hellebores and even early daffodils. In the Winter Garden visitors can also discover a selection of other plants such as heathers and dogwoods.
Visitors to the castle can head to the Moat Restaurant for a warming takeaway drink to eat while on the move.
Garden tickets are on sale now to pre-book at hevercastle.co.uk.
National Garden Scheme
Many of the National Garden Scheme’s events have had to be cancelled as some gardens cannot allow for social distancing well, but some larger sites are able to continue with pre-booked tickets, with snowdrops being their first stop of the year - if this week's snow doesn't get in the way.
At Copton Ash in Faversham the gardens, with woodland flowers, snowdrops and hellebores, will be open from noon to 4pm on Saturday, February 13, with some pre-booked slots still available at £4. It will also be open on Sunday, February 21.
Sittingbourne’s Doddington Place is opening to show off its snowdrops for the scheme on Sunday, February 21. The 10 acre garden will be open to pre-booked local visitors from 11am to 5pm and again on Sunday, April 25.
Goodnestone Park Gardens at Wingham, near Canterbury, is due to open from 11am to 5pm on Sunday, February 14.
To pre-book and find a garden near you visit ngs.org.uk
Brockhill Country Park, Hythe
This KCC-managed country park is one of the best places to see snowdrops. Walk around the park land and the lake with its banks carpeted in snowdrops throughout this month. The council is keeping its country parks open for local visitors to take their exercise, so if you live in the Hythe area you are in for a treat. There is a car park but other facilities are closed for lockdown.
The house and gardens are currently closed, but look out for snowdrops on the wider estate walks. Visit penshurstplace.com
If you’re lucky enough to live near one of the National Trust’s properties in the county, their gardens and wider estates will be open once the snow's gone for fresh air and exercise, though visits need to be pre-booked.
Sir Winston Churchill’s former home, Chartwell at Westerham, has already seen snowdrops springing up all over the gardens so look out for them when the weather allows if you are local, while Ightham Mote, near Borough Green, has an estimated 5,000 snowdrops in pockets around its gardens.
At Sissinghurst Castle, visitors will be able to see smatterings of snowdrops dotted around the woodland floor and garden when able to visit again. For all sites, only visit if you are local, and pre-book. Pre-book your slot at nationaltrust.org.uk
Great Comp Garden
One of the biggest events for the garden near Borough Green, is its Snowdrop Sensation, but this year’s event on February 21 has now been cancelled. The gardens are now set to reopen on Monday, March 1, but look out for snowdrop snaps on Twitter @GreatCompGarden.