Office of Public Works (OPW), in association with Carlow Garden Trail and Carlow Tourism, has announced Snowdrops Festival at the beautiful Altamont Gardens during the month of February.
There is no better time of year to catch this fabulous display of snowdrops in these beautiful tranquil gardens. A wonderful opportunity to view a unique collection of over 100 named varieties of snowdrops. This collection started by Corona North, the former owner of Altamont Gardens is now amongst the largest in Ireland. Apparently, in Ireland, there are varieties that cannot be seen anywhere else.
For example, at Altamont Gardens there are:
- Galanthus ‘Titania’ – one of a group of tall double hybrid snowdrops, called the Greatorex hybrids bred in the 1940’s. They all have the names of female characters from Shakespeare’s plays. A number of these can be seen growing in a woodland bed in Altamont, side by side, for comparison.
- A fine group of fine snowdrops, Galanthus ‘Natalie Garton’ in the Corona North Borders.
- Galanthus gracilis -A species of snowdrop that grows in the wild in Greece, Bulgaria, and Western Turkey, flowering in January here in Altamont. It is very distinctive having narrow, grey leaves that twist and curve. Its flowers have three separate green marks on each inner petal: a broad stripe at the base and two tiny triangles at the tips.
- Galanthus ‘Castlegar’ flowering in a woodland bed at Altamont. This Irish snowdrop hybrid was named in the 1990s by Dr. Kieth Lamb, who was a good friend of Corona North’s. Its value is that it is a strong, very early snowdrop, often at its best at Christmas and lasting till the end of January.
Source: New Altamont Gardens facebook page
The gardens cultivated since the 1750s are now entrusted to the very able OPW Head Gardener, Paul Culter, who will be providing tours at 2 pm every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for the duration of the Festival. The gardens open daily from 9 am to 4.30 pm
Location of Altamont Gardens:
Unfortunately this year I can`t go to visit Altamont Gardens in February because of covid 5km travel restriction. Below are my photos from previous years taken during Snowdrops Week at Altamont Gardens. I will hopefully be able to see it again in 2022 and the years ahead.