With the shortest day now behind us, we can start looking forward to the arrival of spring. Snowdrops are one of the first signs of life in the garden, heralding the arrival of the new season, and for that reason they are one of my favourites.
It’s well worth visiting one of the countryside estates up and down the country that take part in the Scottish Snowdrop Festival, which runs from 30 January – 13 March where you can see swathes of snowdrops in their natural environment, turning woodland floors into white carpets of beautiful flowers.
I usually make an extra special effort in the new year to visit Cambo Estate, near St Andrews, to take their woodland snowdrop walk. The estate has over 350 varieties of snowdrop and is a major tourist attraction, with its own snowdrop art exhibition and gift shop.
Over the years the estate has become synonymous with snowdrops and it is also recommended as ‘best supplier of bulbs in the green’ by Gardening Which.
Alternatively, if you are over west, the 15th century Duntreath Castle near Strathblane has a fairytale, magical feel when the snowdrops appear. The woodland paths and stunning waterfall garden at the castle in Blanefield, are just a half hour from both Glasgow and Stirling.
Wherever you are in the country, there is bound to be a snowdrop exhibition nearby. Each year the Scottish Snowdrop Festival gathers together some of the best gardens and woodlands where you can see swathes of snowdrops, so that you won’t miss out on the arrival of these dainty little flowers.
For a full list of gardens taking part, go to the events section of the VisitScotland website.