The Snowdrops at Elworthy Cottage
I just had to see the snowdrops at Elworthy Cottage. I’d intended to go before but somehow had always ended up visiting the bigger places. These had huge carpets of ‘ordinary’ snowdrops in February.
A West Country Gem
Elworthy Cottage has ordinary ones but also more than a hundred named selections too. It’s a small garden on the Brendon Hills at the foot of Exmoor. It’s owned by plant enthusiasts Mike and Jenny Spiller. We easily found their well marked garden – we had chosen to visit on one of the days that they open for the National Garden Scheme. After dressing for the showery weather, we were met at the entrance by the owners. Sensibly they warned us to be careful where we trod since paths had become wet and slippery due to the recent snow. After a brief discussion about their caged, but normally free ranging beautiful hens, we proceeded gingerly into the garden.
The garden consists of many island beds filled with a few mature shrubs and trees. These are heavily under-planted with hardy perennials and snowdrops. And there were snowdrops everywhere! What distinguishes the snowdrops at Elworthy Cottage from so many other snowdrop collections is that most are discretely labelled.
Named Distinctive Varieties
I’m no great Galanthophile but this is clearly a mecca for such snowdrop enthusiasts.
I noticed several familiar varieties, some of which I grow. But mostly I was intrigued by the subtle differences that exist from one snowdrop to another when studied closely. Sadly, this was not a day to linger and hard cold rain shortened our visit.
Low light and wind
The weather made photography difficult with the delicate looking snowdrop bells always on the move. Thick cloud cover made for extremely poor light but I grabbed a few images to share with you.
I’ve also visited The Garden House near Plymouth which I has a big snowdrop collection and is now open in winter.