Sunday 16 February 2014

The Shaftesbury Snowdrop Festival

To commemorate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in Shaftesbury, Dorset, a project was launched to plant public spaces in the town with snowdrops. 60,000 were planted in 2012, and the same number last year, with volunteers and schoolchildren helping. These plantings, now getting established and showing their potential, are the foundation of the Shaftesbury Snowdrop Festival. This aims, of course, to bring more visitors to the historic hilltop town out of season, but is also getting the community involved through art displays and the various events organised. The opening day of this year's festival (continuing until 1 March) was yesterday, and was marked by a snowdrop study day and sale. With three speakers, the sale and an excellent lunch, the day was a great success, and we then had chance to see the plantings in the town and a garden nearby. There are the makings of an annual galanthophile fixture here!

Some of the 120,000 snowdrops planted in the past couple of years in Shaftesbury by townsfolk and schoolchildren. They'll soon thicken up.

The snowdrop sale attracted the usual frenzy of interest.

The Bet Lynch of the snowdrop scene: Alan Street pulls on the Avon Bulbs stall.

A pop-up shop selling all sorts of snowdroppy items.

Moira Harries surveys the exhibit of snowdrop-inspired art in the Shaftesbury Art Centre.

Emma Thick explains the fine points of snowdrop identification at the display of named cultivars in the grounds of Shaftesbury Abbey.


  1. I am so pleased that the SRGC Forum had such an input to this super event and was able to give some sponsorship to it. It was especially satisfying to see how Emma Thick and Pam Cruickshank "assembled" this special day in such a short space of time to "fill the Gala Gap" !! Thanks are due, of course to all three speakers and to all the snowdrop sellers. Marvelous turnout in the face of some ghastly weather around the country.

  2. Would love to have come, and especially learnt about Primrose Warburg's famous garden and snowdrops - but a good day showing snowdrops to gardeners in Kent this Sunday.

  3. Thank you for being there John and for your most excellent . Your suport is has been an amazing thing .

  4. I'm building a butterfly house and need support. If you are interested in protection of butterflies, please support my project on:

  5. Looks like a great day, and what a lovely project to plant so many snowdrops in the town


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