Wednesday, 25 February 2015

A damp day at Colesbourne Park

Cyclamen coum with Galanthus 'S. Arnott'. The Cyclamen have been spreading well now for about ten years, enjoying the thin, short turf.

The reasonable weather of Saturday turned on Sunday to leaden skies; cold heavy rain began before lunchtime. It was an unfortunate day to be visiting Colesbourne Park, but it was pre-planned and my only chance this season. Despite the rain it was lovely to be back and top se how the garden continues to develop..

Several people have said that Colesbourne is looking better than ever this year and so it is. In a wild garden of this kind, where plants are left to multiply and spread, or are spread deliberately, it's inevitable that the show gets better. The single snowdrop of three or five years ago is now a robust clump, and the aconites, crocuses and cyclamen have had that time to produce annual seed crops and abundant seedlings. Trees and shrubs develop too, and there's a real pleasure seeing trees I grew from seed now reaching 5-6 m in height and fruiting themselves, making a significant contribution to the landscape.  In the more formal area of the garden, around the house, my successor Chris Horsfall has made some lovely colourful plantings, blending other bulbs with snowdrops and foliage plants, that give great pleasure. Here are some pictures that I hope give an impression of this great winter garden.

Galanthus nivalis in the wood near the entrance. There were no snowdrops here twenty years ago!

The Spring Garden, with 'S. Arnott' and 'James Backhouse' in profusion.

The original inverse poculiform snowdrop, G. plicatus 'Trym', planted in the grass in the hope that its genes will pass to seedlings.
Planted by Chris Horsfall, the virescent G. elwesii 'Margaret Biddulph' and G. nivalis 'Pusey Green Tips' with winter aconites and the wonderful Corydalis temuliflora 'Chocolate Stars'

G. plicatus 'Seraph' is a distinctively shaped poculiform.

My 'Spring Bling' bed is developing nicely.


  1. Lovely pictures, one day we must make a long weekend in Gloucestershire to go and see the snowdrops. Lovely to see 'Seraph', a poc that remains elusive!

  2. I have been examining my own snowdrops today. I have merely seven different varieties that I have 'acquired' over the years and the clumps are very strong. Also in the cemetery gardens I maintain in Bolton Percy and Worsbrough village there are tens of thousands. All the various stands retain their identity and I am not aware of any self sown seedlings. Am I missing something?

  3. Roger - some cultivars are effectively sterile, and generally clones are self-infertile, so you need the right mixture of fertile parents to get seed. Large patches of snowdrops may be a single clone and hardly ever set seed.

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  7. Great post and thank for sharing, cause inspired for me. Goodluck Brother


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