Do you start looking eagerly for the arrival of small white flower heads, still tightly closed, poking their heads through the fallen leaves in January & February? When we first moved to the Wigtownshire peninsula (known as the Machars) we were delighted by the carpets of snowdrops that covered our woodlands. It became an annual highlight to spot the first one, knowing it was a harbinger of spring.
Indeed there is a story all about how the snowdrop came to flower so early in the year – written by Hans Christian Andersen. So as this is Scotland’s Year of Stories, we thought it would be fun to share that tale with you.
There are plenty of wonderful places to seek out snowdrops while you are visiting Galloway. Several of the gardens as they come out of winter hibernation start to put on a terrific display of little white heads bobbing happily in the sunshine. Here are our top picks for a lovely day out…
Logan Botanic Garden
Every Sunday throughout February Logan Botanic Garden opens on a donation basis for visitors to come and marvel at the lovely snowdrops in bloom. There are also a few events taking place so check their website for further info. The Potting Shed cafe is due to be open too so you can enjoy a walk and follow it with something scrumptious before heading home.
Threave Gardens outside Castle Douglas has announced it will be opening full time from mid-February, which is great news. The National Trust property sustained some damage during the storms over the winter and Kelton Hill Wood and the Red Squirrel Hide are still closed but being cleared. There are still snowdrops to been sought out and the team at Threave have been busy getting on with other projects too. Just recently they posted this great picture of a red squirrel using on of their newly installed bird boxes!
This lovely gem of a garden has early blooming camellias as well as snowdrops on display and is open daily through the winter. The Glenwhan Gardens’ tearoom is shut until 1 April but there are plenty of benches to sit and enjoy the blooms, the views, the sculptures and the resident peacocks! Glenwhan Gardens is really one not to miss if you are in the area.
This is possibly one of the best known gardens to visit for its snowdrops with a special three-mile route of snowdrops in pure abundance. The walk along the Black Loch allows you a spectacular view of carpets of these magical flowers. Indeed the 10th Earl of Stair was a particular enthusiast and responsible for planting more than 10 varieties of snowdrops in the Walled Gardens. In fact the gardens even has its own unique specimen, Galanthus nivalis ‘Lochinch’ , named after the Earl’s castle.
But sadly this winter the gardens sustained serious damage in the storms that battered Scotland. As a result Castle Kennedy Gardens have made the decision that they will not be opening until 1 April 2022 while they assess the damage and finish the clear up operation.