Snowdrops at Raveningham Hall a sign that spring is not far off

Snowdrops at Raveningham Hall.PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Snowdrops at Raveningham Hall.PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Snowdrops are said to be the harbingers of spring and if the stunning carpet of white that has taken over the grounds at Raveningham Hall, near Beccles, is anything to go by, the season may not be so far off.

The unmistakable dainty flowers are among the first to raise their heads in the new year and provide an enchanting spectacle to be enjoyed by all.

Although they are regarded as a sign of a spring in Britain, they are not native to the country. They were first recorded in the wild in 1778.

A symbol of hope and purity, the beauty of the snowdrops growing on the battlefields in the Crimea was noticed by soldiers fighting in the war. Many survivors brought back the bulbs to plant in their gardens.

As well as a popular feature of country walks and the gardens of stately homes, the snowdrop is celebrated at galas across the region, which are attended by hundreds of keen gardeners.

Their Latin name, Galanthus, means milk flower - because the flower looks like a drop of milk hanging from the stem - and Galanthophiles are serious about their favourite plant.

At Blacksmiths Cottage Nursery snowdrop fair in Dickleburgh last month, one snowdrop went for £400 but they have been known at other events to fetch £600.

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Raveningham Hall Gardens will be open until February 28 for people to witness and enjoy the sea of snowdrops.

The gardens are open 11am to 4pm, or dusk if earlier, Monday to Friday and Sunday.

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