Grove Lodge in Saffron Walden is among four gardens in Essex to take part in the National Garden Scheme Snowdrop Festival next month.

Snowdrops are one of the earliest flowering plants of the year. The festival celebrates these white flowers, whether they are grown in woodlands, among a colourful mix of early spring flowers or if they are meticulously grown rare varieties.

Saffron Walden Reporter: The National Garden Scheme Snowdrop Festival is taking place next monthThe National Garden Scheme Snowdrop Festival is taking place next month (Image: National Garden Scheme)

As part of the festival, the garden at Grove Lodge will be open between 2pm and 5pm on Sunday, February 12 and Sunday, February 19. Admission is £5 for adults and free for children.

The semi-woodland nature of this garden is ideal for the winter and spring snowdrop bulbs, which thrive below the tree canopies.

Visitors to the garden can expect to see a sea of yellow winter aconites, crocus, hellebores and snowdrops, many of which are self-seeded.

The yew hedging and scented winter shrubs are home to a wide variety of wildlife, all of which is welomed and encouraged.

Tea and cake will also be available for visitors.

The first garden to open during the festival is Dragons in Boyton Cross, which will be open from 11.30am to 3pm on Wednesday, February 8.

Snowdrop varieties and colourful hellebores will be displayed in the front garden, with a mix of flowers on display in the back.

On Sunday, February 19, the garden at Longyard Cottage in Nazeing is open from 11am to 4pm. In this garden, paths direct visitors through a structure created by silver birch, bay tree spirals, seed heads and the canes from clumps of grasses, with snowdrops, crocus and cyclamen revealed on the journey.

Blunts Hall in Witham is opening for the first time via arrangement this spring and throughout the summer, and during this time of year there are carpets of snowdrops and aconites.

On Saturday, February 25 the grounds at Horkesley Hall are open between 12.30pm and 4.30pm. Visitors can enjoy the Winter Wander which will take them through over 100 varieties of snowdrop.

Some gardens, including Grove Lodge, will be open by arrangement for private groups to visit in February.

Details can be found at