National Garden Scheme Open Day at Hever Castle


Snowdrop Walk

This year Hever Castle and Gardens are in the vanguard of the National Garden Scheme’s with their opening in the grounds of the Castle on 12th February 2019. Duncan Leslie, CEO at Hever says: “the NGS raise millions each year and it’s wonderful to support them at Hever. We are very happy to be involved and making a donation to their charity at the start of their exciting 2019 programme which sees people open their gardens of all sizes – from backyards to huge estates.”

Follow the white floral pathways at Hever Castle & Gardens as 80,000 snowdrops bloom throughout the grounds from beside the outer moat, meandering along Sunday Walk and drifting into Church Walk.

Visitors to the childhood home of Anne Boleyn are urged to wrap up warm and enjoy an exhilarating walk this February through the extensive grounds which were transformed by William Waldorf Astor at the turn of the 20th century.

Neil Miller, head gardener at Hever Castle adds: “Gardeners really enjoy the National Garden Scheme open days – there’s nothing better than mooching around gardens that are only open once or twice a year, it’s a special programme and we are very happy to spearhead their snowdrop festival.”

Jane Streatfield, NGS Kent County Organiser says: “It’s a real delight to have Hever Castle gardens opening for the Scheme again and with such a dramatic spring display.”

Neil Miller has been amassing an enviable collection of snowdrop varieties over the last 7 years, planting 10,000 each season including a mix of single and double snowdrops. Unusual yellow-tipped varieties such as ‘Wendy’s Gold’, a giant Galanthus called ‘Colossus’ (which at 9 inches is one of the tallest snowdrops you can find) and Galanthus ‘Green Brush’ with its unusual green tipped flowers are a delight in the Winter Garden at Hever.

The Winter Garden was created in the early 1990s but underwent a redesign led by designer Tom Wright in 2012. The area and planting was extended to include daphnes, hellebores, early daffodils such as ‘Early Sensation’, a wonderful selection of heathers and dogwoods including Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ which glows red and the charred embers of the black stemmed dogwood Cornus alba ‘Kesselringii’. The snowdrops in the Winter Garden have begun to establish themselves in good clumps over the last couple of years.

Neil Miller says: “We have planted some exciting varieties in the last few years including Galanthus Athenae – one of the earliest to flower, usually by the end of November, Galanthus Magnet, Galanthus Viridapice and Galanthus Plicatus warham.”

Discover the delights of a late winter walk through drifts of snowdrops from 9 February.

Please note that entrance to the gardens is not free on the National Garden Scheme open day. Usual admission prices apply. A charitable donation will be made to the NGS by Hever Castle.

*We recommend that you wear suitable footwear such as Wellington boots or walking boots as the ground may be boggy in places.

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