Snowdrop Stroll at the Dunn Gardens

February 20, 2014

This is the closest thing to a Snowdrop walk in my neighborhood.

This is the closest thing to a Snowdrop Walk in my neighborhood.

There are some things the English do particularly well, I think, like maintaining a system of walking paths and hosting intriguing heritage garden events.  Wouldn’t you love to see one of England’s bluebell woodlands, for example?

Oh, to be in England!  If I were lucky enough to be in England this time of year, however, I would attempt to find a snowdrop walk.  Serendipitously, one of the bloggers I follow — Jane Brockett’s Yarnstorm — just wrote about a snowdrop walk in Welford Park.  I took one look at that dappled green and white woodland floor and yearned to see something like this myself.

I set out to discover whether the Pacific Northwest even has places like this, where snowdrops grow in profusion. I mostly stumble across the tiniest of patches growing here and there along sidewalks or flower beds.  My online search uncovered just one possibility — the Dunn Gardens in north Seattle.  I learned that they are hosting a snowdrop stroll for members and guests next Sunday, February 23rd.  Because I will be working on Sunday, I was graciously allowed a preview visit yesterday.

This was my first visit to the Dunn Gardens, which is an Olmstead-designed private garden on the National Registry of Historic Places.  They offer docent-led garden tours by appointment in the months of April, May, June, July, September and October.  I felt very fortunate indeed to have been able to visit during the off season, and I will be sure to return later in the year.

Perhaps the snowdrops at the Dunn Gardens do not rival the show-stopping masses that grow in England, but there were more here than I’d ever seen before.  The setting is spectacular — tall trees, curved paths, groomed lawns.  The patches of cyclamen contrasted beautifully with the white snowdrop petals.  And the crocuses were starting to bloom, too.  Here are some photos from my visit:



















Snowdrops from my neighborhood

Snowdrops from my neighborhood

Watercolor sketches of snowdrops

Watercolor sketches of snowdrops

Watercolor sketches of snowdrops

Watercolor sketches of snowdrops


11 Responses to “Snowdrop Stroll at the Dunn Gardens”

  1. Elisa Says:

    You are getting better at the white on white! 🙂 Thanks for sharing these. I had been spoiled by warmer and snow deficient years and this year I am looking out at mountains of snow! I must say that when I ventured out last night after dark I was met with bustling winds against which I braced myself and was delighted to find were warm tickles against a cool evening background! Spring WILL come!!

  2. Sandy bessingpas Says:

    Oh my..those scenes are wonderful..we are expecting more snow today and then temps dropping to below zero again. I have a forced hyacinth blooming on my windowsill..the promise of warmer days to come

  3. shoreacres Says:

    All the photos are wonderful – but that little leopard-spotted snowdrop is the best. Do they all look like that as buds?

    • Rosemary Says:

      The green and white spotted piece is not a bud but rather the three inner “tepals” after I removed the larger outer three petals. You can find out more about the parts of the snowdrop flower at Most of the snowdrops at the Dunn Gardens have just the little upside down green heart. The ones I see in my neighborhood have two gree splotches per petal — one is the heart and the other is more like a chevron shape.

  4. Susan Cline Says:

    As snow and ice is accumulating here in Wisconsin, this post is a feast for sore eyes. Your watercolors have so much personality, and are wonderful!
    I have embarked on a distance botanical illustration course with Dianne Sutherland in the U.K. You might enjoy her blog, she shares so much interesting information. I look forward to seeing these gardens myself one day.

    • Rosemary Says:

      Thank you for turning me on to Dianne Sutherland’s blog. What remarkable details she provides about her work. I will start following her blog. Thanks again.

  5. Lynne Says:

    Beautiful photos and paintings!

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