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Winter will soon give way to spring and snowdrops will bloom across Ayrshire and Arran carpeting the region with this popular flowering plant.
From now until March 11, 35 of Scotland’s finest gardens, woodlands, and estates will open their doors for the 14th year of this beloved festival, including Brodick Castle, garden and country park. Culzean Castle and country park and Blair Estate will also host walks, talks and activities to show off swathes of snowdrops to visitors.
Snowdrops first appeared in Scotland in the 18th century. The plant is not native to Britain, but its hardiness and adaptability allows it to thrive in the Scottish climate. Its botanical name is Galanthus, which means milk flower – an apt name for the dainty white flower whose buds look like drops of milk hanging from the stem.
Catherine Erskine, chair of Discover Scottish Gardens and founder of the Snowdrop Festival in Scotland, said: ‘Snowdrops foretell the changing of the seasons and, for many of us, they are a welcome indicator that spring is just around the corner. We are very lucky in Scotland to have such a fantastic climate for snowdrops, with many species flourishing here and creating magnificent displays across Ayrshire and Arran.
‘Many of the festival venues are in the grounds of some of Scotland’s most historic buildings and estates, creating a spectacular sight. We hope the festival will encourage people to go outdoors and discover this beautiful flower alongside the region’s stunning gardens.’
Gordon Smith, VisitScotland regional director said: ‘The Scottish Snowdrop Festival is a great way to start the new year with visitors getting the opportunity to view these beautiful flowers within some of Ayrshire and Arran’s most iconic gardens and estates.
‘I’m delighted to see a number of Ayrshire and Arran venues taking part as it is an excellent way to attract visitors during the traditionally quieter winter months. At VisitScotland our marketing is focused on sharing the tourism windfall in lesser known parts of Scotland and outwith peak times, so we are delighted to support this fantastic festival.’
The Scottish Snowdrop Festival is organised by Discover Scottish Gardens and supported by VisitScotland. For details of all the gardens and grounds taking part in the event, visit www.visitscotland.com/snowdrop
A picturesque Brodick Castle in the snow. Photo Discover Scottish Gardens NO_B05snowdrop