We visited one of my favourite snowdrop gardens this morning. Hodsock Priory opens from Saturday 31st January – Sunday 1st March 2015. We shall be there. But for now, Hodsock at the end of November. 
Daffodils in November. This very morning indeed.  George Buchanan, who now runs Hodsock Priory in North Nottinghamshire with his wife Katharine, could not remember the name sadly. My own earliest variety is “Rijnveld’s Early Sensation’ 
We were on a tour. I got lost in the crowd and so could not ask the name of this early flowering Rhododendron but my guess is “Praecox”.
We have two Sorbus having planted our largest red Rowan when we moved to our new home in 1981. The blackbirds devour its berries the moment the red appears, the white being left until relatively late in the new year. This fine specimen looked lovely with the rain glistening on the fruits. 

Hodsock Priory in the late November mist and drizzle. I have brighter images of the house but this is as it was at noon today. Hodsock is where I first realised that snowdrops come in many guises and where I bought my first “collector’s snowdrop”, the double “Lady Beatrix Stanley”, named after one of the Buchanan family’s illustrious ancestors. I have a few in the garden now and doubtless they will feature as the season allows.
It is easy to overlook the humble Mahonia but this is a bright plant on a winter’s morning.

A young Ginkgo Biloba with butter coloured foliage. We have a specimen but obviously in too shady a spot. We do not get this gorgeous deep colour.
And finally a Malus in full fruit. Both of ours are selected seedlings brought to what was then a  spanking new house over thirty years ago. Ours sheds its fruit on the lawn, smelling of raw cider as I toured our modest estate (ha ha) this afternoon.


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