We have just had one of the mildest winters in a long time and you can seethat plants are happy. Some plants are springing into life already in the garden. Our wonderful Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis sp.) are now in full bloom, this has happened so quickly. One day I am saying to friends that they are only peeping up out of the ground and then a few days later I am braking suddenly on the avenue to get out and admire these old friends, they never let us down. Planted at least 100 years ago under one of the old lime avenue trees and under that magnificent old oak tree, on the meadow in front of the house. If you get a chance to go for a stroll be sure to keep an eye out for them, they are very easy to miss.
Then in the Walled Garden a little showier but still incredibly beautiful – the Hellabores (Hellaborus niger sp.) are coming into flower, sometimes called The Christmas Rose, these were planted in the fernery and in a few other discreet shady spots back in the late 1990s and thank goodness they are still thriving. They make a really lovely display at this time of year.
John O’Driscoll – Strokestown Park Manager