Snowdrops will burst into bloom as the Wentworth Woodhouse gardens reopen

Despite its army of volunteers not being able to tend to the gardens, Wentworth Woodhouse will still feature a beautiful array of snowdrops this year.

Thursday, 21st January 2021, 1:28 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st January 2021, 1:28 pm

Lockdown means the workers cannot get together to continue their annual task of splitting and replanting the year’s blooms to increase their spread.

But thanks to their backbreaking toil over the last three years, the Rotherham stately home being regenerated by a preservation trust will have picturesque snowdrop scenes to cheer up visitors taking exercise.

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Wentworth Welly Wangers garden volunteers with head gardener Scott Jamieson (second left)

Its open garden days, a vital source of income for the Trust, resume for daily visits from February 6 after a fortnight’s closure to allow maintenance of pathways.

Visitors are welcome provided current government guidance is followed and supporters remain local.

By February 6, Wentworth’s snowdrops will be in full bloom.

The flower symbolises winter nearing an end and hope for better times ahead. Five varieties stretch across several acres of the gardens - from the most common Galanthus Nivalis, to the honey-scented Galanthus Atkinsii.

Wentworth snowdrops

The march of the valiant ‘first flower of the year’ was the vision of tenacious head gardener Scott Jamieson and his right-hand man Andy Smith.

Many hours of labour freely given by the two groups of volunteers known as the Tuesday Welly Wangers and the Wednesday Bramble Bashers made it reality.

“Snowdrops start a chain reaction in the garden calendar,” said head gardner Scott.

“Hundreds of hours went into last year’s snowdrop-moving season alone.

“Thousands of bulbs were transplanted and we are enormously grateful to our volunteers for their dedication. It’s hard work but a wonderful way to involve groups from all walks of life in the continued growth and development of the gardens. In the process, gallons of restorative tea are made and friendships grow.”

Wentworth Woodhouse volunteers have also been greatly assisted by members of the charity ArtWorks South Yorkshire, local businesses involved in Corporate Responsibility Days and by the garden team at Clumber Park.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.