Snowdrop season approaches

Chelsea Physic Garden is to open its doors for nine days this February to showcase its snowdrops.

© Charlie Hopkinson

London’s oldest botanic garden, Chelsea Physic Garden opens Snowdrop Days 2014 early next month and will welcome visitors to admire the blooms.

The entire garden, from woodland to rock garden, will be covered in the delicate spring flower. A special trail will exhibit the number of different varieties there are of the species and there will also be a ‘snowdrop theatre’ which allows visitors to view the blooms close up.

Between 8 and 17 February lectures, tours of the garden and even a painting course dedicated to capturing snowdrops on canvas will be on offer.

Chelsea Physic Garden is a walled space, tucked away in a leafy part of the Royal Borough and yet still in central London and near to the River Thames. It was founded in 1673 by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries as a space for growing medicinal plant species for apprentices to study. It’s proximity to the river is no accident – the climate is slightly milder here and better for growing a range of flora.

It’s well worth having a good look around: the pond rock garden is particularly fascinating, given that it was built using stones from myriad sources, including the Tower of London, Icelandic lava, fused bricks and flint. This curious structure was completed in 1773, is Grade II* listed and the oldest rock garden in England on view to the public.

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