Snowdrops blooming in the south west

Snowdrops at Logan Botanic gardens.
Snowdrops at Logan Botanic gardens.

A number of the country’s celebrated visitor attractions – including Logan Botanic Garden and Castle Kennedy - will take part in one of Scotland’s most popular outdoor festivals.

Blossoming across the country from 28 January to 12 March, the Scottish Snowdrop Festival features more than 50 properties across the country, including 14 newly added for 2017, showing off spectacular swathes of snowdrops carpeting their grounds.

Venues taking part in the festival around Dumfries & Galloway include Brooklands, Crocketford; Kirkcowan, Newton Stewart; as well as Castle Kennedy, Stranraer and Craig in Langholm.

There are 300 varieties of Galanthus – to give the snowdrop its botanical name - and the versatility and hardiness of this classic winter flowering plant means it grows in a great range of locations.

The annual event, now in its 11th year, aims to encourage locals and tourists alike to enjoy the wonders of Scotland’s gardens during the snowdrop flowering period and to highlight the diversity of the country’s array of snowdrop collections.

For the first time this year, the festival is being organised by garden tourism organisation Discover Scottish Gardens, and supported by VisitScotland.

Research shows that one in three visitors to Scotland make a trip to a forest or woodland park during their stay while 42% visit a country park or garden.

Doug Wilson, Regional Director of VisitScotland, said: “Over the past decade the Scottish Snowdrop Festival has grown to become an annual calendar highlight with the first snowdrops of the year a sign that spring is just around the corner. The festival also provides a welcome boost for attractions during a traditionally quieter period of the year and as many people as possible will get out and about to enjoy this great seasonal sight around Scotland’s most stunning gardens and estates.”

Many of the Scottish Snowdrop Festival locations are within the grounds of some of Scotland’s most historically buildings such as Castle Kennedy in Stranraer.

For details of all the gardens and grounds taking part in the Scottish Snowdrop Festival 2017, visit www.visitscotland.com/snowdrop

Catherine Erskine, Chair of Discover Scottish Gardens and founder of the Snowdrop Festival in Scotland, said: “We are very lucky in Scotland to have a fantastic climate for snowdrops, with many species thriving here and creating stunning displays.”

“And this year, due to a mild winter, snowdrops are certainly popping their heads out earlier than they have for many years.”

Richard Baines, Curator at Logan Botanic Garden, said: “The very mild winter has brought an early flowering season upon us. At Logan Botanic Garden, also known as Scotland’s most exotic garden, carpets of Snowdrops, fragrant Daphnes and Camellias are already putting on a delightful show.

“One of the most amazing things about plants that flower early is often their delightful fragrance, announcing that spring is on its way. The snowdrops at Logan are looking great this year as there has been little rain and wind to batter them. I would urge anyone to get out and about at this time of year, there is so much to see for such an early stage of the season.”