This is the perfect time of year to visit Cambo Estate in Fife, when it hosts its annual snowdrop festival.
I make a point of going each winter/spring because there’s no better way to lift you out of the winter doldrums than gazing at hundreds of snowdrops. And there are, literally, hundreds of snowdrops at Cambo. There are 350 different varieties on display in the gardens and around 70 acres of woods, carpetted with snowdrops and aconites.
Not only that but the grounds of Cambo Country House also include a walled garden, prairie planting, beds of winter interest planting and piglets!
In winter the walled garden is full of grasses and seedheads, with sculptures dotted around, a huge weeping willow over a stream, a pergola and glasshouses with specimens of succulents and pelargoniums. It’s one of my favourite places to be and I’ve promised myself to go back in the summer so that I can see how different it looks at that time of year. I love it in winter so can’t wait to see what impact it has full of flowers and greenery.
The garden isn’t all brown seedheads and straw coloured feathery grasses…check out this dogwood – no filter or post-processing for this image!
BLAM. They also had some Cornus ‘Midwinter Fire’ which I may have coveted for my own garden…
And another hit of colour in the glasshouse…
One of the highlights of the visit at this time of year is the large daphne planted at the rear of the house. You can smell it before you see it…follow your nose and you’re rewarded by the most beautiful scent. Daphnes can be tricky plants to grow, liking only specific conditions – well, this one must be very happy because its flowers this year are prolific and the fragrance is amazing.
The snowdrops which caught my eye this year had a touch of yellow to them:
These may have been ‘Hippolyta’ although I admit I forgot to snap a picture of the label to remind me. However I did get a photo of ‘Lady Elphinstone’ as she was another favourite.
I didn’t allow myself to fall completely in love with snowdrops…as galanthophiles will tell you, it can be an expensive obsession, with some single snowdrops selling at Cambo’s visitors centre for as much as £20. However I did manage to come home with a small clump of doubles which I’ve planted ‘in the green’ under the magnolia bush in the back garden. I hope they’ll thrive and multiply so that I can enjoy a little corner of Cambo in my own garden.