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In pictures: Anglesey Abbey’s carpet of snowdrops





It’s that time of year again when the beautiful snowdrops coat the grounds of Anglesey Abbey, creating a sea of white.

The Abbey has one of the finest snowdrop collections in the country, with a number of different varieties – many of which are rare.

Snowdrops at Anglesey Abbey. Picture: Keith Heppell
Snowdrops at Anglesey Abbey. Picture: Keith Heppell

Issy Vetoshkina, senior communications and marketing officer at the National Trust site, says it’s “definitely” been a good year for the snowdrops, adding: “This year we think we have around 500 varieties of snowdrops – up on last year. This figure has grown from 120 varieties in 2001.”

She notes: “We have created and received many new snowdrop varieties that have been propagated from Anglesey Abbey bulbs, but snowdrops are promiscuous, which means they will cross-pollinate readily – the only barrier to this in the wild is geography.

“This is how more hybrid varieties are naturally formed. Snowdrops are insect pollinated, so on sunny days in the months that they flower, they are visited by a number of flies, bees and other insects that move the pollen about.”

Snowdrops at Anglesey Abbey. Picture: Keith Heppell
Snowdrops at Anglesey Abbey. Picture: Keith Heppell
Snowdrops at Anglesey Abbey. Picture: Keith Heppell
Snowdrops at Anglesey Abbey. Picture: Keith Heppell
Snowdrops at Anglesey Abbey. Picture: Keith Heppell
Snowdrops at Anglesey Abbey. Picture: Keith Heppell
Snowdrops at Anglesey Abbey. Picture: Keith Heppell
Snowdrops at Anglesey Abbey. Picture: Keith Heppell
Snowdrops at Anglesey Abbey. Picture: Keith Heppell
Snowdrops at Anglesey Abbey. Picture: Keith Heppell

Senior gardener David Jordan said: “Ants also help to move the seed around: snowdrop seeds have a sugar pellet attached as a means of dispersal, the plant employs the ants that may be around to spread the seeds, taking the sugar as a reward for their trouble. Snowdrops share this seed dispersal method with cyclamen.”

Snowdrops at Anglesey Abbey. Picture: Keith Heppell
Snowdrops at Anglesey Abbey. Picture: Keith Heppell
Snowdrops at Anglesey Abbey. Picture: Keith Heppell
Snowdrops at Anglesey Abbey. Picture: Keith Heppell

The site has its very own ‘Anglesey Abbey’ snowdrop, but also a number of others with weird and wonderful names, including ‘Robin Hood’, ‘Wendy’s Gold’, ‘Jessica’, ‘X-ray’, ‘Diggory’, ‘Curly’, ‘Mother Goose’ and ‘The Whopper’.

[Read more: Where to enjoy the snowdrops in and around Cambridgeshire]

Do visitor numbers to the Abbey grow during snowdrop season? “Absolutely,” replies Issy. “Visitors come from far and wide to see our beautiful collection of snowdrops.

“We’ve had a very busy season this year and our gardeners and volunteer garden guides have enjoyed putting on specialist collection tours again.

“You can also grab a hot drink or bite to eat from one of the many pop-up café spots around the grounds during snowdrop season.

“We’re now into half-term and we have a Snowdrop Scramble trail for children – and adults! – along the woodland path.” For more information on this, visit nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/cambridgeshire/anglesey-abbey-gardens-and-lode-mill/events/363b1a18-96e4-4c00-83c0-0d483b41bf93.

Snowdrops at Anglesey Abbey. Picture: Keith Heppell
Snowdrops at Anglesey Abbey. Picture: Keith Heppell

Issy adds that some snowdrops appear as early as November, such as the Galanthus elwesii ‘Remember Remember’, while others flower much later in February.

She says the best time for seeing snowdrops at Anglesey Abbey is from mid-January and throughout February.



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