Hodsock Priory 2012

A couple of weeks ago we made our way to Hodsock Priory in North Nottinghamshire to visit their annual Snowdrops.

This year the experience was far more pleasant than our previous experience… and after wrapping up thanks to the forecast telling us it would be sunny but chilly; the day actually turned out lovely and warm with little need for scarfs and thick jackets.

The main gardens were not as impressive as last year, which is a surprise as last year we only visited around two weeks later yet there were far more Daffodils and Winter Aconites blooming. This aside, it was a very enjoyable and welcome day out.
First to catch my eye were these brilliant pink blossoms, I think they’re from Japanese Apricot, can anyone confirm this?

Once again I got to drool over the Cyclamen coum carpets under various trees and shrubs… I need to mimic this. And also, if you look more closely at the Hellebore photo, you may spot a few Ladybirds on it!
The warm sun had brought them out in their thousands – they were everywhere in the snowdrop woodland walk! I had to move a fair few that I didn’t want to get trampled on as we stopped for a cuppa.

I’m still not sold on this whole idea of cutting away the leaves of Hellebores, not only are they unable to photosynthesize but they look like ridiculous lollipops sticking out of the ground… I’d rather keep the leaves myself, thanks.

Willows were impressive against the blue sky.

Perhaps it’s time to move onto the grand finale, I need not explain what they are!


As if I could ever take photos and NOT end up in the mud with people looking at me strangely…

Copyright 2011 Liz.
All rights reserved. Content created by Liz for Gwirrel’s Garden.

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18 thoughts on “Hodsock Priory 2012

  1. Hi Liz,

    Beautiful images, and so lovely to visit these places to take some ideas home with us.

    I have a carpet of coums and I have to say I absolutely love them. I cannot believe how quickly they spread, I am sure for me, it is adding eggshell to the soil that has helped. Also the fact they are planted under the apple tree.

    With reference to hellebore leaves. If you get blackspot in your garden you will curse the day you decided to leave them. It is not only for the purpose of display that gardeners cut the leaves away, it is also to stop the spread of blackspot which can eventually affect the blooms as well. Around five years ago that happened in my garden. I now cut the leaves away every year, and it has not been a problem. Of course, it is your choice, that is what gardening is about. Just wanted you to know….I would hate to see your lovely new additions looking sickly:)
    Hope you did not kind me mentioning that……

    • Hi Cheryl,

      My coums are growing nicely in their little pots – I plan on planting them out once they have more leaves and are a little stronger. I’ll have some in the front and some in the back so that if any get attacked I won’t lose them all at once.

      Yep I’m aware of the health problems for Hellebores and will cut back unhealthy leaves, but I will be leaving the otherwise healthy ones. Mind you, I also leave roses with black spot as I’m not someone to likes a pristine garden… Who knows maybe the lollipop thing will grow on me. Unlikely, but maybe I’ll be forced to if they do suffer from diseased leaves.

      • Hi Liz,

        I thought you would be aware. I leave the new leaves that appear when the flowers fade but cut them away during early winter.
        Did you know that blackspot on roses shows that you live in a relatively unpolluted area?
        You would think it would be the other way around, wouldn’t you??

        • Hi Cheryl,

          Blackspot on roses = unpolluted area? Really? Hmmm, I hadn’t heard of that one, usually just hear people complaining about it and that it isn’t a good thing!
          I wouldn’t really say it’s unpolluted here; highly unlikely considering my proximity to the city centre.

  2. The blanket of snowdrops look as though the ground really is covered in snow! How lucky you were to have a good day for your visit, it makes all the difference. Hodsock looks a lovely place what a pity it is so far from me. Maybe I should plan a “travelling” holiday to visit all the lovely gardens from the Midlands upwards. The little cyclamens are so pretty. Thank you for sharing your marvellous photos.

    • Hi Ronnie,

      I’m sure there will be some snowdrop blankets nearby in your area; definitely some Bluebell ones anyway. Hodsock does also apperently have Bluebells although I haven’t seen it but hope that it is as good 🙂

  3. First of all , thank you for sharing this trip with us, I have been waiting for this post ever since I saw your new header photo ! What fantastic chimneys Hodstock has, super looking house.
    Have to agree with chopping off hellebore leaves I’m afraid, once I didn’t and it wasn’t just the leaves that looked such a mess, it was the flowers as well and I lost some of my favourite plants, never again.
    What a fantastic drift, no it’s more than a drift, avalanche of snowdrops, did you take something with you to kneel on? Snowdrops like that, en masse, take a lot of beating, fantastic !

    • Hi Pauline,

      Nah I didn’t kneel on anything other than my jeans – I’m used to having dirty clothes at home as more often than not I have mud on my trousers! lol. I’m well used to it 😉

      See, now I’m torn. If the plants aren’t strong enough or healthy enough to survive, then I don’t want them here. The same goes for other plants, I’ve never been someone to nanny plants and prefer to leave things to nature – if they don’t survive then I’ll give up owning them because I don’t like replacing plants time and again.
      I don’t believe I should have to cut the leaves off a plant – breeders ought to be breeding them to be more healthy rather than owners having to cut away an important part of a plant – that’s madness to me 😦
      It’s like owning birds and cutting off their feathers so they can’t fly, it just makes no sense. Might as well get a pet rock.

  4. It looks a stunning spot with gorgeous photos of the spring flowers in the spring sunshine. The pink bloom has really caught my eye!
    The hellebore leaf debate…. Dave (The Anxious Gardener) reminded me to cut the leaves off. I did eventually, sort of…
    I must admit to only cutting the diseased or old leaves off. I’ve not come a cropper…yet!

    • Hi Janet,

      It was lovely and I plan to go back again to see their Bluebells (and hope they are actually Bluebells and not hybrids), no doubt they’ll be out early this year like most other blooms.

      I’ll see how I go on with the Hellebores, I just don’t like giving too much care to plants as feel to some extent I’m playing god – although my planting something in a spot is also playing god but I just don’t like to intervene too much with an actual plant – i.e. like fertilizing.
      I dunno, I’m obviously a bit mixed up! 😛

  5. Wow! Now I see why people swoon over snowdrops. They do look like a carpet of snow! As for hellebores, I cut back the ratty looking leaves. I’m too lazy to cut back the good looking ones! I agree breeders should be coming up with hellebores that don’t suffer from black spot. One of the things that drew me to hellebores was their advertised low maintenance.

    • Hi Deb,

      Just wait until you see Bluebell swathes instead over the coming months! Now they’re a sight to behold. True magic, and I really hope that Hodsock’s Bluebells are as good as the Snowdrops. I have very fond memories of visiting Scotland in May and walking through woodland surrounded by Bluebells.

      Love love.

      haha, low maintenance to me does not include having to cut off the leaves of a plant! Such a vital part and they’re still having issues with black spot or whatever… Tells me they’re concentrating too much on new pretty colours rather than the health/longevity.

  6. What different places we live in. Spring here is still hesitant, gun-shy because of over-night freezes, snow flurries (no significant accumulation this winter), and cold, cold rain. Mid-Atlantic USA (Maryland) is still in early spring, late winter. Crocus blooms and daffodils are getting frozen back, having to start over with each warm spell.

    By contrast, it appears that you are in the midst of vigorous early spring well underway, with confident blooms, early green leaves. I wish I could live an entire year in England and experience the seasons for an entire cycle.

    The photos are wonderful, and the snowdrops photos are amazing. I really get a sense of the beautiful day you had. The coats I see in the photo seem to imply that temperatures were in the 40s to 50s, but with sun it looks very comfortable. Certainly a different story with a windy, rainy day.

    Thanks for capturing theses images for us who aren’t as far into spring as you. We’ve got a couple more weeks of cold – but, I live near Washington DC, and right now is perfect for the cherry blossoms. I’m looking forward to our annual pilgrimage into town for see the blooms.

  7. Could kick myself for not going on our garden club trip to Hodsock a few years ago Liz – should have not been such a wimp but hate coach travel. I’m fairly sure that it’s a Japanese Apricot Liz – possibly ‘Prunus mume ‘Beni-chidori”
    which is on my wish list 🙂 Glad that you have fine weather for your visit – makes such a difference.

    • Hi Anna,

      I don’t blame you for disliking coaches to be honest! They aren’t something I use often and in fact I’m no longer used to buses either having been on one only a few times in the past 10 months – really want a job in the city centre again!!!! grrrr.

      Must admit I’m also tempted by this Japanese Apricot as its colours are so vibrant. Perhaps I’ll hold out for the classic pear blossom instead with its stunningly simple and elegant blooms – just need a larger garden for one!!! 😀

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