Last weekend Linda and I met for lunch at nearby Kailzie Gardens tearoom - Kailzie drops the Z in pronunciation, Kailie - then took a walk through the woodland gardens to look at the drifts of snowdrops the garden is well-known for.
Everywhere you turn is another view to photograph!
I took dozens! - well, not actually dozens, but quite a number!
It really looks like a covering of snow has fallen!
There are many different varieties, some with long stems, others with shorter ones, some single-group inside petals, others double. I understand there are about 130 varieties of snowdrops all told, but whether they are all represented at Kailzie I couldn't say. Some have the most subtle differences apparently.
There was one variety that was larger than all the others - larger in leaf, larger in height, larger in flower.... and the flower was bell-like, without the cluster of petals inside, and with a pointy frilly edge to the bell flower. I had never seen this variety before!
Snowdrops bloomed beneath the trees, round the sturdy old tree trunks, showing through last year's old beech leaves, and spreading far and wide in whichever direction you looked.
Some grew beside the burn - the stream - that flows through the garden under the bridge
and past two tiny cottages where a woodworker now has his studio.
Along the Major's Walk, stepping stones through the garden to a small summer house, the snowdrops appear alongside these aconites, more early spring arrivals. They too are very pretty with their frilly green collars beneath their bright yellow heads. The one time I tried to grow them I planted lots of bulbs in the autumn, but in spring only one little flower appeared and in subsequent years there were to be none at all, ever again!
I'll be visiting the gardens again later in the spring and early summer to see the daffodils and then the bluebells, and by then the laburnum walk should also be in bloom. I'll take the opportunity then to tell you more about the gardens.
One last photo for now shows the site of the old house at Kailzie. Once across the bridge, the open green space on the left is where it used to stand, facing the gardens but with wonderful views of Tweeddale and the hills to the rear. It was demolished in the 1960s before conservation became a buzz-word, having lain empty and neglected in its latter years. Damp and dry rot had taken their toll and it was seen as the cheaper option to demolish rather than to repair and restore. It wasn't a beautiful building particularly, but quite imposing nonetheless - not that I remember it myself, but there are photos in the stable block gift shop.
Talk again soon.
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