The Beauty of Winter – Hellebores and Snowdrops at Great Comp

The beauty of winter:
Hellebores and Snowdrops at Great Comp
The garden at Great Comp is usually closed to the public during the months of January and February but for just one day a year, with fingers crossed for kind weather, our curator William Dyson welcomes in the galanthophile (snowdrop fans), snowdrop sellers and visitors keen to get a sneak peak at the hellebores and snowdrops in the garden.

This special ‘Snowdrop Sensation’ day started 7 years ago and the popularity of the event surprised those who work at the garden.  We hadn’t fully appreciated the devolution that these tiny perfect white flowers would engender in visitors.

Why so special?

It is said that soldiers returning from the Crimean War brought snowdrops back with them to the UK and these flowers proliferated in private gardens throughout the land over the next hundred years.

The three most common snowdrop species are Galanthus nivalis,  Galanthus elwesii and Galanthus plicatus and come in over 2,500 named varieties.

Snowdrop pollen provides an early feast for bumblebees who wake as the flowers simultaneously open to reveal their nectar when the temperature gets to 10 degrees.

People used to be superstitious about snowdrops and a myth sustained over the centuries said that it was unlucky to bring a swowdrop into the home.

They don’t have ‘petals’ they have ‘tepals’: or six petal-like segments with three larger ones and three smaller inner ones. There are far too many to choose from to single out our favourites but ‘Grumpy’ always raises a smile.

The Snowdrop Sensation at Great Comp Garden is a real one-off treat – visitors are able to peruse the rare and unusual snowdrops on sale (as well as very affordable varieties), visit The Old Dairy Tearoom and remain in the garden until 4pm, following the woodland pathways to discover the hellebores and snowflakes that proliferate there.

Tickets for the Snowdrop Sensation are available to pre-book online.

Buy tickets to Snowdrop Sensation >