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This Snowdrop World is a Snowdrop World, And Yet, And Yet...

A Snowdrop Walk on a Grey Day.

Mrs Park Keeper and I took ourselves off to see the snowdrops at Rode Hall in Cheshire last week, on a grey blustery day. The hall is still a family home and the historically interesting grounds are well-kept but unspoiled -not over-managed as some country properties can be.

The main design of the grounds follows Humphrey Repton’s Red Book for the site, though implimented some years after its commission, and the terrace is

designed by Nesfield.

The snowdrops were still emerging, and not at their fullest display, but they were still enchanting, as only these gentle heralds of future warmer days can be. There were a great number of different cultivars, but only an expert would be able to tell some apart.

Below, The Italian Garden in the Old Tenants Hall with Daphne bholua filling the February air with its rich perfume

There were winter aconites, primroses, hellebores, auriculas and some unseasonal daffodils, but the Daphne bhuloa, filling the air with its deep, rich perfume was a real highlight.

Auricula in pots on the terrace

Walled Kitchen Garden and Gardeners Cottage - rain-soaked and waiting for the warmer weather!

New Boathouse and Rode Pool

Willow sculpture in the woodland

Above, old boat-house leading to Rode Pool

Below Monkey-Puzzle tree bark

There are snowdrops on sale at the small shop, and an art gallery near the car park.

The tea-room, always a comfort on cold winters days, served delicious soups, cakes teas etc. with a fine wood-burning stove to drive away the damp and cold.

The photos on the leaflets show that it is well worth regular visits throughout the year, especially to see the late spring seasonal bedding and woodland Rhododendron displays, the Victorian kitchen garden in full production in the summer, and the autumn colour display.

Highly recommended for a botanical, bird-watching and biophilic interlude!

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