More than 750 visitors flocked to the Gardens of Easton Lodge in Little Easton for a snowdrop open day on Sunday.

The event on February 12 was the first of four snowdrop open days at the gardens.

Visitors included members of Morgan Sports Car Club, as well as many from the Ware u3a (University of the Third Age) group, who the previous week had enjoyed a talk about the gardens and their most famous owner, the Countess of Warwick.

Despite the gloomy weather, the snowdrops were on top form, with some fully out and some still in bud.

In some parts of the garden, aconites nestled among the snowdrops, with daffodils beginning to push through as spring approaches.

Dunmow Broadcast: More than 750 visitors attended the snowdrop open day at the Gardens of Easton LodgeMore than 750 visitors attended the snowdrop open day at the Gardens of Easton Lodge (Image: The Gardens of Easton Lodge)

Many families were in attendance, with children running around the gardens, answering the trail questions about snowdrops, and saying hello to the elephant statue, a reminder of the Countess' baby elephant, Kim.

The trust's volunteers were kept busy producing food and hot drinks to keep visitors warm, including bacon rolls, homemade soup, hot chocolate and homemade cakes.


Visitors were able to buy plants - including snowdrops - as well as snowdrop cards.

The Gardens of Easton Lodge date back to Tudor times. They were refashioned in 1902 by Edwardian designer Harold Peto for their owner, the Countess of Warwick, also known as Daisy.

The Countess entertained guests at Easton Lodge 'regularly and lavishly' - including the Prince of Wales, who became her lover for eight years in the 1890s, before he ascended to the throne as Edward VII.

During WWII the gardens were used by the US Army Air Force and the RAF, and fell into disrepair. They were later restored and made open to the public by the Preservation Trust and its volunteers.

For those who did not get a chance to see the snowdrops on Sunday, the remaining open days are on Thursday, February 16, Sunday, February 19 and Thursday, February 23.

Tickets are available in advance or at the gardens. 

The gates open at 11am, and the gardens close at 3pm on Thursdays and 4pm on Sunday.

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