First Snowdrop Garden of the Year

We were encouraged by the number of snowdrops coming into flower in our own garden over the last fortnight, thanks to a very welcome mild spell, that we decided it might well be time to hit the road and have our first snowdrop garden visit of the year – to Altamont Gardens.

Altamont Gardens near Ballon in Co. Carlow is our nearest and most regular port of call during snowdrop season and always our first visit of any year. Altamont is the anchor garden for the Carlow Tourism Snowdrop Month and host garden for the annual Snowdrop Gala. There is a good selection of snowdrop varieties in the garden and an even choicer selection in the Walled Garden where they are under the care of Robert Millar, proprietor of Altamont Plant Sales, where he offers what is probably the best selection of snowdrops in Ireland.

The formal area of the gardens, to the rear of the house:

Altamont is a garden for all seasons for, at its very least, it will always provide the venue for a very pleasant walk, a circuit of the lake or a longer stroll when conditions underfoot are drier than at present through the Ice Age Glen to the bank of the River Slaney, returning to the garden via the 100 Steps and across the high field with wonderful views to the surrounding countryside.

Around the lake at Altamont Gardens:

And every lake should have a few ducks! – I couldn’t resist showing them!

February is, of course, snowdrop season and the first of the main season snowdrops were in flower already. The gardens have obviously had a great deal of work done on them over the winter months for all autumn debris of dead herbaceous material has been cleared and the snowdrops have beautifully tended and neat beds in which to bloom. We enjoyed our visit yesterday and will return next month when more snowdrops are in flower. And, we went home with three very nice new snowdrops for our own garden from Robert’s Altamont Plant Sales and one extremely generous gift.

Snowdrops in flower in the gardens:

And a couple of attractive hellebores:

Finally, a few snowdrops from the Walled Garden:


7 thoughts on “First Snowdrop Garden of the Year

  1. What a lovely tour. I’m planning on visiting Altamont this snowdrop season. I’ve not managed in all these years, so I’m determined it will happen this year! I laughed when you said you’d bought some snowdrops – I guess there’s always room for a few more! 😁

    Liked by 1 person

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