A carpet of white is appearing in the woods at the National Trust’s Wallington estate in Northumberland as thousands of snowdrops planted by the public start to flower.
Back in February 2015, the conservation charity appealed for visitors to help plant 100,000 snowdrop bulbs in the East Wood as part of a new seasonal trail being developed. Hundreds of people rallied round to help with the mammoth task and all 100,000 bulbs were planted in just nine days over the half-term holiday.
Now, a year later, the bulbs are beginning to bloom and the trail promises to be an impressive sight, with delicate white flowers carpeting the woodland floor.
John Ellis, Wallington’s head gardener, said: “The snowdrops are already an inspiring sight and seeing them really helps to lift the spirits after a long winter because they’re the first sign of spring. What makes them even more special is that they were planted by our visitors. We’d like to thank all those people who lent a hand because it meant we were able to plant a huge number of bulbs in a short space of time.
"It’s great to have that support as Wallington was gifted to the public by Sir Charles Philips Trevelyan back in 1941 and we want visitors to feel a sense ownership because we’re looking after it on their behalf.”
The Trust hopes visitors will continue to help in the garden this year as well, as John explained: “The flowers blooming now are just part of the trail and we’re asking visitors to muck in with the gardening again during half-term, as we’ve got another 100,000 snowdrops to plant further along the route.”
As well as all the snowdrops, thousands of newly-planted crocuses should appear on the lawns in the walled garden in March and the garden team will also be planting colourful shrubs and trees along the length of the trail as well as expanding the winter garden in the walled garden.
John said: “We hope the trail will keep on growing and become a stunning seasonal attraction, giving people another reason to visit all year round.”
If you’d like to give the gardeners a hand with planting this year’s snowdrops in the wood, visit between February 13 and 21, from 10am to 3pm.
For more information about visiting Wallington or helping with the snowdrop planting, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wallington