Snowdrop Festival launches at Devon home of world renowned snowdrop collection

Mary's picture
Authored by Mary
Posted: Sunday, January 5, 2020 - 12:19

Excited snowdrop enthusiasts are set to travel across the UK to an exquisite corner of Devon to see one of the best collections of snowdrops in the world burst into fragrance and colour at The Garden House’s first ever Snowdrop Festival, which takes place January to March.

The Festival will showcase the world renowned Matt Bishop Snowdrop Collectionone of the most diverse collections of named and naturalised snowdrops in the UK, in full bloom at The Garden House, one of the finest gardens in England.  

For the first time, over 100 named varieties of snowdrops, many of which will be in flower, will create a stunning display across the plantsman’s paradise in Dartmoor. Planted in huge swathes across the garden’s stunning ten acres, snowdrops are scattered across banks and in borders, in plain sight but also tucked away in secret corners.

The snowdrops which bloom from early October through to April, are carefully labelled, tucked into herbaceous borders and naturalised with early flowering bulbs.

For those who visit The Garden House, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, during the winter opening hours, as well as the stunning snowdrops, there will be much on offer at the Festival for snowdrop fans.

  • Free expert guided tours of the snowdrops

  • Stunning snowdrop exhibition by Di Fifield

  • Snowdrop giftware  

  • The Garden House’s own unique home grown snowdrops will also be on sale

  • There will be a hotly anticipated bulb sale of snowdrops by Avon Bulbs, which has excited gardening fans queuing up beforehand on Feb 1st, 11pm-3pm.

The vast collection was established by Galanthus (snowdrop) expert Matt Bishop, former head gardener at The Garden House, to include many unusual varieties. Matt is the principal author of the galanthophile bible, Snowdrops: a Monograph of Cultivated Galanthus (Griffin Press, 2002) and now has his own worldwide snowdrop business. Matt added more to the collection in 2019, so it now numbers over 100 named varieties, some of which are extremely rare.

The stunning Garden House display has become a must-see on the Galanthophiles (snowdrop lover) calendar. Typically Galanthophiles will travel long distances to see very unusual blooms, with some paying thousands of pounds to buy the least common varieties.

The Garden House team now hope the snowdrop collection will become a nationally recognised collection, though many varieties remain yet to be formally identified.

“We really wanted to celebrate our snowdrop collection which is not only extraordinarily pretty,” said The Garden House General Manager, Donna Wadham. “It’s a unique chance to see some of the most unusual varieties of snowdrop in an exceptionally beautiful setting. We are thrilled Matt Bishop has added to our collection for 2020. It’s loved by experts and garden lovers alike - the Snowdrop Festival seems like a great way for people to access and enjoy snowdrops.”

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