Cotswold Farm near Cirencester opens gardens for snowdrop festival

The gardens will be open to the public through the National Garden Scheme between 11am and 3pm.

Adult tickets will cost £7.50 and children can go free.

Refreshments such as tea, coffee, cakes and soup will be available to buy at the event.

Cotswold Farm is an historic Arts & Crafts house situated 5 miles north of Cirencester.

The garden overlooks a quiet valley on descending levels with terraces designed by architect Norman Jewson in the 1930s.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Views from the step garden at Cotswold Farm (Photo: Newsquest)Views from the step garden at Cotswold Farm (Photo: Newsquest) (Image: Camilla Foster, Newsquest)

These enchanting grounds encompass 12 different sections including a sensory bog garden, a little forest woodland and step garden with panoramic views.

John and Sarah Birchall moved to Cotswold Farm in 2020 but the house has been in the family for four generations.

The snowdrop collection was developed by John’s step grandmother Ruth Birchall in the 1970s.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Galanthus 'Ransome's Dwarf' snowdrops at Cotswold Farm (Photo: Newsquest)Galanthus ‘Ransome’s Dwarf’ snowdrops at Cotswold Farm (Photo: Newsquest) (Image: Camilla Foster, Newsquest)

John Birchall explained there was a shared passion for these beautiful flowers at this time and a prominent trend to swap snowdrops with neighbours and hold snowdrop lunches.

He said: “This is our third season in the house, and we are learning fast and enjoying every bit of it.”

Sarah Birchall said: “One of the things I have learned about snowdrops is to look carefully inside the flower, that is one way to discover the differences between the varieties.”

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Sarah Birchall showing the wonders hidden inside a snowdropSarah Birchall showing the wonders hidden inside a snowdrop (Image: Newsquest)

There are over 80 varieties of snowdrops at Cotswold Farm including ‘Wendy’s Gold’, ‘Mrs Macnamara’ and ‘Elmley Lovett’.

The couple said the key to the gardens’ success was the hard work of Carol Smith and her daughter Kate who work there twice week.

A selection of these snowdrops will be avaiable to buy at the event next weekend.

The gardens are also open every Monday in February between 11-3pm.

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