To Pembury House, Clayton, West Sussex on March 8th for the final day of a month-long NGS opening.  This day was to celebrate the glorious collection of snowdrops and Hellebores.  Owners Jane and Nick Baker have over 50 named varieties of snowdrops together with naturalised drifts of common snowdrops and many different hellebores in the woodland.

 

Unfortunately, it was raining steadily and the ground was extremely muddy so I did not feel inclined to lie down on the ground in order to photograph the incredibly beautiful inside of the flowers – either snowdrops or hellebores!  However, Jane has kindly given me permission to show some of their pictures here:

Having had little success establishing snowdrops in my own garden just below the chalk downland of Lewes, I am grateful to Nick for his advice to start with the lovely, tall Galanthus ‘S. Arnott’ with the advice to plant in light shade – not full sun and not to let it dry out, also Galanthus elwesii, another tall one, again recommended for the beginner!  I would also like to establish the common Galanthus nivalis which should naturalise.  Hopefully, all of these will do well on my chalk.

Jane and Nick have had over 1000 visitors at Pembury House during the month of February in which they opened, as they do each year, for the National Garden Scheme (NGS).  Paths wind through the woodland which has been a 25-year project.  Both the BBC’s ‘Gardeners’ World’ and Japanese TV have featured the 2+ acre gardens at Pembury House and there is an interesting photo’ display of the evolution of the garden as well as plants for sale, homemade preserves and delicious teas.
In 2014 they will be open between 11th and 20th February and Hellebore Day will be on Friday, March 7th 2014 – see www.ngs.org.uk/

 

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