Visitors to Kentwell Hall in Long Melford enjoy first signs that spring is on its way as snowdrops arrive early
PUBLISHED: 08:12 14 February 2018 | UPDATED: 08:12 14 February 2018
Snowdrops, the blooms that signal the end of winter is on its way, have arrived a week early this year, according to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).
A mild winter meant snowdrop varieties usually seen at the turn of the year were flowering in the first part of December, while ordinary snowdrops are a week earlier - and much earlier than the cold winters of 2009 and 2010.
Snowdrops have also seen their flowering time shift in recent decades as a result of climate change, with the “fair maids of February” - once common in late February - now routinely flowering in the first part of January.
This year’s cold snap has arrested their development at the flowering stage, giving gardeners more time to enjoy the blooms, RHS chief horticultural adviser Guy Barter said.
“Some of the varieties which we normally expect round the turn of the year, they were in flower in the first part of December.
“The ordinary snowdrops are a bit earlier, and they are a lot earlier than in 2009 and 2010,” he said.
“There is excellent evidence that snowdrops in the 1950s and 1960s would flower in February, they would not be in midwinter.
“Now routinely at Wisley, they’re flowering in the first part of January.”
Visitors to Kentwell Hall, in Long Melford, enjoyed the first signs that spring is on its way with a wonderful display of white at the ‘Snowdrop Spectacular’, which is being held until Sunday.
Alix Massey, from Kentwell Hall, said: “Kentwell Hall opened for the season on February 10 and the first sign that spring is on its way are the carpets of snowdrops that dominate the woods and outer grounds of the gardens.
“This year Kentwell has extended the ‘Story Book Adventure Trail’ to encourage children to get outdoors and let their imagination have fun.
“The trail includes 19 stories and characters to meet on the journey around the Kentwell Estate.
“Characters include the enormous ‘Crunching Munching Caterpillar’ who is over six yards long and the magnificent sculptured metal ‘Gorilla who wanted to Grow Up’ – and each book and every character is represented in its own unique way.
“So pop your wellies on and have a wonderful, fun half term family day out.”