Snowdrop Sundays at Gardens of Easton Lodge
PUBLISHED: 11:35 09 February 2017 | UPDATED: 12:24 09 February 2017
The historic Gardens of Easton Lodge open with two Snowdrop Sundays on February 19 and 26. The Gardens have carpets of snowdrops under the trees and in the walled kitchen garden, and they also spring up all across the Gardens. Many of the common single and double blooms (Galanthus nivalis) were planted in Victorian times or before. Children have lots of room to run around and find this their favourite flower. Hot drinks, bacon rolls and soup will be available to warm up visitors and there will also be homemade cakes on sale.
The Gardens of Easton Lodge, at Little Easton, near Dunmow are English Heritage Grade II listed. They were one of the most important creations of the Edwardian designer Harold Peto, commissioned in 1902 by their owner “Darling Daisy”, the Countess of Warwick. Daisy entertained guests there regularly and lavishly, including her lover, the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII. Garden visitors can join a guided historical tour and hear about the Countess’s gardens, her life and loves, philanthropy and politics.
The Gardens fell into disrepair after their use by the US Army Air Force and RAF in the Second World War and are being restored and made open to the public by a preservation trust and its band of dedicated volunteers. The flowers in the Italian garden and the other stone features, statues and beds provide interest through the season. The trees in the glade tower over the gardens and are home to a wide variety of birds, and fungi in the autumn.
The trustees have been working to restore the top half of the walled kitchen garden, resetting the paths and replanting more old varieties of fruit trees and roses. See: www.eastonlodge.co.uk. Open 11.30am to 4pm, last entry 3pm. Adults £4, children admitted free.