Due to popular demand The Garden House in Devon has decided to take its world famous and much loved Snowdrop Festival online and is launching what’s thought to be the UK’s first ever Virtual Snowdrop Festival. The festival was facing cancellation due to lockdown restrictions, however public feedback was so overwhelming, the team have come up with an innovative way to ensure everyone can enjoy this year’s acclaimed snowdrop display which is bigger than ever.

Snowdrop lovers across the UK will be able to enjoy the snowdrops as they flower through Facebook and Instagram from Jan to February with daily posts, Facebook LIVES and online discussions The display this year includes The Colin Mason Snowdrop Collection added to original Matt Bishop Snowdrop Collection at The Garden House in Buckland Monachorum, Devon.

 There will be 335 named cultivars and species of snowdrop – some rarely seen in open gardens - on display for the first time in The Garden House Just follow The Garden House social media channels, Facebook  @TGardenHouse and Instagram the.garden.house

The Garden House in Devon is to offer snowdrop lovers across the UK a chance to enjoy one of nature’s most spectacular displays of snowdrops at their first ever Virtual Snowdrop Festival - providing daily treat and a welcome relief from lockdown.

Following the increasing severity of the pandemic, the team had been forced to cancel the world famous Snowdrop Festival, allowing only the local community into the hardens to enjoy the seasonal display.

But there was such an outcry of dismay on social media, the team decided not to be beaten and have come up with a Virtual Snowdrop Festival to that their stunning floral displays can be enjoyed in real team via their social media channels, Facebook  @TGardenHouse and Instagram the.garden.house

Now every day the talented team of gardeners and student gardeners, Rose and Rosie, will go out into the snowdrop drifts and post live images of the snowdrops as they bloom.

There will be a Facebook LIVE so people can enjoy the gardens and get a taste of what next year’s display might look like.

The team will also be supporting The Samaritan’s #BrewMonday on Monday 18, Jan, where, on what is dubbed the most depressing day of the year, snowdrop lovers will be able to go onto the Garden Houses Facebook page and have a cuppa and an online chat.

“We’re actually really excited now about our Virtual Snowdrop Festival, said Karen Willcocks, Visitor Services Manager. “ We were so disappointed not to be able to share our amazing display this year with our garden loving community. People travel from across the UK to see our snowdrops, so this seems like the perfect way to share their beauty - and also a great way to give people a daily treat - something to look forward to in lockdown.”

Local visitors will still be able to take gentle exercise in the gardens, exploring the stunning displays of snowdrops, which are bigger than ever this year, in a covid secure, socially distanced manner.

The world renowned Matt Bishop Snowdrop Collection, one of the most diverse collections of named and naturalised snowdrops in the UK, has been joined by the Colin Mason Collection at The Garden House, one of the finest gardens in England and will be on display in January and February.  

The new collection was left as a very special legacy to the Garden House and it’s expert gardening team very carefully transplanted the collection to the plantsman's paradise.

Now,  together with the original Matt Bishop collection, there are nearly 350 named cultivars and species of snowdrop – some rarely seen in open gardens. 

Colin Mason was the owner of “Fieldgate Snowdrops” from which he made successful hybrids which proved to be successful and attractive – he bulked these up by “twin scaling”. Much sought after examples include Fieldgate Tiffany, Fieldgate Sophie and Fieldgate Superb – we have examples of these in our named collection.

The Snowdrop Festival, which has become an annual highlight for UK garden lovers, takes place in an exquisite corner of Devon, where one of the best collections of snowdrops in the world bursts into fragrance and colour.

Local visitors can walk through the 10 acres of gardens where the snowdrops which are planted in huge swathes across the garden’s stunning ten acres. The snowdrops bloom from September through to March, peaking in January and February, and are carefully labelled, tucked into herbaceous borders and naturalised with early flowering bulbs. Snowdrops are scattered across banks and in borders, in plain sight but also tucked away in secret corners.

Local visitors can also enjoy:

  • Winter plants for sale as well as snowdrops and early flowering bulbs

  • Opening of the new “Frame the View” trail

  • A covid-safe environment, with strict covid related risk assessments and “Good to Go” quality standard by Visit England

The cafe will be closed due to government restrictions and picnics cannot be allowed.

The vast snowdrop collection was established by Galanthus (snowdrop) expert Matt Bishop, former head gardener at The Garden House, to include many extremely rare and unusual varieties. Matt is the principal author of the galanthophile bible, Snowdrops: a Monograph of Cultivated Galanthus (Griffin Press, 2002) and now has his own worldwide snowdrop business.

The stunning Garden House display has become a must-see on the Galanthophiles (snowdrop lover) calendar. Typically Galanthophiles will travel long distances to see very rare blooms, with some paying thousands of pounds to buy the rarest varieties.

The Garden House team now hope the snowdrop collection will become a nationally recognised collection, though many varieties remain yet to be formally identified.

“The garden offers visitors the chance to get out into nature during lockdown, enjoy gentle exercise in a socially distanced way and reap the mental health benefits of nature’s beauty,” said The Garden House Visitor Services Manager, Karen Willcocks. 

“The snowdrop collection is not only extraordinarily pretty, it’s a unique chance to see some of the rarest varieties of snowdrop in an exceptionally beautiful setting. It’s loved by experts and garden lovers alike and is a not to be missed moment in the Garden House calendar. 

Every precaution will be taken to ensure we follow the latest government guidelines and visitors are safe.”

  • The Garden House, Buckland Monachorum, Yelverton, Devon PL20 7LQ