How quickly these initial forays into our gardens get us back into the swing of things, planning activities and eager to discover what fellow enthusiasts are up to.
As soon as the modest display of February snowdrops appears in this garden, there is a longing to see great swathes of them in a woodland setting.
This means a visit to nearby Howick Hall, where head gardener Robert Jamieson is always welcoming.
Its annual Snowdrop Festival normally runs from the second week in February, opening Wednesday to Sunday, from 10.30am to 4pm. However, it has begun a week earlier this year and will last well into the month.
What bliss to enjoy a weekend woodland stroll through great carpets of white, then head for the Earl Grey Tea Room. For further information check at www.howickhallgardens.com
The National Trust’s Wallington, near Cambo, has benefitted from the planting of 300,000 snowdrops over the past three years, and this is celebrated from February 1 to 28.
There are organised activities, including the planting of a further 100,000 over half-term week, and gardeners will be taking guided woodland walks. Find out more at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wallington
The snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) is a simple, but beautiful, little white flower that emerges from a tiny bulb to defy frost, wind and snow – adored by all, but modestly keeps its head down in a crowd.
Galanthophile enthusiasts have given it superstar status in paying astronomical prices for single bulbs. The record of £1,390 was reached on eBay for Galanthus plicatus Golden Fleece.
Yet, as was the case then, we can still buy clumps of the original common or garden snowdrop at a modest price.