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Showing posts from February, 2015

Snowdrops at Colesbourne Park

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Colesbourne Park is one of the gardens featured in my new book, Secret Gardens of the Cotswolds, and although it may seem a bit unfair to have favourites, this is a garden for which I have a sneaking affection.
First, it's a snowdrop garden, only open at weekends from the end of January to the beginning of March. I think there is a certain poignancy about gardens which have one particular moment in which to shine, especially if that moment is during one of the miserable months of the year.
Second, Colesbourne has an interesting history, not only from a horticultural point of view, but also in terms of social change during the past 100 years.
Before the First World War, there were 14 glasshouses at Colesbourne, each with its own microclimate, and a gardening staff of 10. Its owner, Henry John Elwes, was a British botanist and plant hunter, who discovered Galanthus elwesii, the large snowdrop named after him, near what is now Izmir in Turkey.
Elwes amassed an impressive bulb collect…