The Snowdrops Are Blooming

December and January seemed to last forever. In early December a cold snap hit and lasted for weeks. We had snow in the southern Cotswolds, but not as much as other parts of England. For a couple of weeks driving was difficult and, with the short days (pitch black at 5pm), we did not venture out of the house much. By the end of the month I felt “cabin bound”.

In January the typical English winter weather arrived – overcast, drizzle, rain – bleak. We are both working on a new website project, so have been spending our time coding instead of hiking for the last several months. In contrast to the “best summer of my life” where we were out hiking all day long, now my life takes place in this cottage, with occasional outings for groceries and walks.

Even the cat is cabin bound. On cold days he goes outside for two minutes, then comes back into the house howling. Then he races up and down the stairs, in and out of rooms (this is a big cottage on three levels, so lots of running space), howling. Finally he settles down under a radiator and sleeps for 12 hours.

We had an exciting short break planned in Rome for the end of January, but we both came down with a flu and had to cancel at the very last minute (the morning we were supposed to be driving to Bristol airport). So instead of walking the Archaeological sites of Rome and Lazio, dropping into cafes for a quick coffee, having lovely long dinners together, we were both in bed exhausted and queasy.

Now we are recovering, the days are getting longer, the weather is mild, the sun is hitting our northern slope neighborhood and yesterday when walking in Woodchester Park, we came across a hillside of snowdrops. Spring is in the air.

Snowdrops in Sapperton, Feb 2008
Snowdrops in Sapperton, Feb 2008

See the Snowdrops

In England the Snowdrops arrive in February to tell us that Spring is just around the corner. Many estates and park areas open up on February weekends. Here is a list of places to see Snowdrops throughout England – Great British Gardens – Snowdrops 2011.

This week we have garden enthusiast friends visiting (W+R) and will be heading out to the Painswick Rococo Gardens who are famous for their Snowdrops. We visited these gardens last summer and they are lovely.

I hope to also visit Colesbourne Park, north of Cirencester and Rodmarton Manor, south of Cirencester.

I think the Snowdrops are going to yank me out of my winter malaise and get me thinking about the wonderful spring and summer ahead of us.

Hey, the sun is out! Gotta go …


See more photos of Snowdrops in Painswick Rococo GardensΒ on Cotswolder.

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Pauline Kenny

Pauline Kenny and Steve Cohen are US expats living in Dorset. We moved to the UK in 2010. Read about our move. If you would like to talk about travel, please join us on the Slow Europe Travel Forums.

11 thoughts on “The Snowdrops Are Blooming”

    1. Still not sure when we will return to Colorado and I do miss the Santa Fe/Boulder winter with piles of snow and lots of sunshine. I am just idly bitching after being cooped up for a couple of months. But now spring is in the air, and it won’t be “back home” for a couple more months.

  1. Hi Pauline!
    There’s an awful bug going around on this side of the pond, too. I came home from Rhode Island with a cold/flu that had me down for most of the weekend, and I think I passed it on to Shannon in Paso Robles. πŸ™
    Hope you and Steve are all better soon, and out and about photographing snow drops. πŸ™‚


    1. Today made up for the gloom of January – mild, brilliant sunshine. We walked around the Painswick Rococo Gardens and the snowdrops were magnificent.

      I keep telling myself that we get colds/flu in the US too – I remember having a bad one last winter. Colleen I hope you did not pass it Shannon – she has some serious travel ahead of her!

  2. I just showed the pictures to George and he showed me the Feb 2011 issue of the RHS Garden Magazine. It has a focus on Welford Park in Berkshire. The garden is also highlighted on the Snowdrop page you linked. It is probably the premier garden for snowdrop but I bet it would be crowded. There are supposed to be over 10 million bulbs

    1. W+R were at Welford last year. They said it was beautiful. Scotland is supposed to be a good place to see Snowdrops also. People we talked to at Rococo said there is a good place in Somerset on Exmoor – Snowdrop Valley at Wheddon Cross. Here is a link: . If we get sun again this weekend, we will go to Rodmarton or Colesbourne – not far from us.

  3. W and R will be going to Welford again very soon quite possibly next week !

    Fab photos Pauline…and as you will have guessed we are home after a lovely day in Marlborogh and an an enchanting Cotswold week.

    (I personally do not recollect ever seeing so many snowdrops in the Cotswolds and we have been going for many years at snowdrop time.)

    1. Hello again,

      We had Welford Park to ourselves last year Marta. We chose a beautiful crisp sunny
      Saturday but we were a little early apparently. Even so the woods were beautiful with thick carpets of snowdrops.

      This year we are planing a visit with some friends towards the end of this week, rain permitting!

      It’s a beautiful spot and all the snowdrop proceeds go to local charities.

  4. It poured rain all day today. I wanted to go to Rodmarton Manor (open on Sundays only thru February), but the rain never stopped. At least I finished the book I was reading.

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