I love snowdrops and try to visit The Weir Gardens in Herefordshire each year to marvel anew at the riverside slopes carpeted with white petals.  Today I visited another hillside garden renowned for its snowdrop display - The Rococo Garden in Gloucestershire.  Wow!

Snowdrop-drift-rococo 

Galanthus nivalis

With few leaves on the trees the structure of the garden was laid bare and the snowdrops positively glowed.

Snowdrop-walk

Galanthus nivalis

I'm hopeless at identifying the different cultivars, but enjoy noticing their differences. (Post edited to include names kindly identified by Paul Hervey-Brookes of Box Court Garden Plants – the nursery at the Rococo Gardens).

4-petal-snowdrop 3-petalled-snowdrop

Galanthus 'Hill Poe' ? *   Galanthus 'Magnet'

Double-snowdrop

Galanthus nivalis plenus

There were tall elegant single varieties dripping with raindrops

Dripping-snowdrops

Galanthus atkinsii

and short chubby doubles bathed in sunlight.

Double-snowdrop-clump 

Galanthus nivalis plenus

The Rococo Gardens were first laid out in the 1730s and 40s which was a flamboyant period in English garden design.  I am a sucker for a folly and these beautiful gardens near Painswick have their fair share.

The-Eagle-House-Rococo-Gard

Galanthus atkinsii

My favourite which is the image that always springs to my mind when people mention the Rococo Garden is this, The Exedra, in all its Gothic splendour. 
 
The-Exedra-reflected 

The-Exedra-detail The-Exedra-at-Painswick

There were swathes of snowdrops throughout the gardens.
 
 Swathe-of-snowdrops

Galanthus atkinsii & G. atkinsii 'James Backhouse'

They obviously love it there – this little guy is desperate to get in!
  
Snowdrops-in-wall

Whilst wandering through the woodland area we bumped into a lovely old couple who asked me to take a photograph of them to mark their 69th wedding anniversary!  Apparently they have a photo taken on this day every year. I do so hope it was in focus.

We were really lucky with the weather, the sun peeped through and the rain only arrived as we set off for home.  We agreed we must go back later in the year to see the kitchen garden edged with espaliered fruit trees in full glory.

If you'd like to know more about the Rococo Gardens or you're tempted to visit have a look at Michelle's blog post - a very comprehensive account of her own recent visit.

The Rococo Garden, Painswick, Gloucestershire, GL6 6TH is open 10 January - 31 October daily 11am until 5pm.  It has a lovely cafe, gift shop and plant nursery. 
 
 
Edited to note:

Paul Hervey-Brookes of Box Court Garden Plants is currently cataloguing the snowdrops at the Rococo Gardens.  He has identified my four-petalled snowdrop photograph as Galanthus 'Hill Poe', but didn't think they had this cultivar in the garden.  I struggled to remember exactly where I saw it, but hope Paul finds it so he can solve the mystery!

 

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