Temperature problems.

When the temperature drops below freezing, as it has lately, hellebores and large snowdrops show that they aren’t happy by collapsing on the ground. As soon as the temperature rises a bit, to above zero, the flower stems right themselves once more and the plants look as they should, with the flowers standing upright. The other day, we decided to meet a friend from Wales at Painswick Rococco Gardens to see the masses of snowdrops that they have beneath the trees. Just one problem, my snowdrops  here were standing proud with the temperature above zero but when we got to Painswick the temperature was minus 5 degrees and this was how we found their snowdrops, all collapsed on the ground.


Painswick sheep

Not to worry, there was still plenty for us to see and admire, like these sheep. We wondered why they were standing so still and eventually it dawned on us that they were very realistic sculptures!


If you look closely you will see that this bank is covered with snowdrops, not very happy ones I’m afraid.  There were lots of drifts like this, all looking the same.


Lots of follies in the garden, which is open for weddings and I’m sure they make lovely backdrops to all the photographs.

Lunchtime snowdrops

After a while we decided to go for lunch in their restaurant, thinking that the temperature would rise in the meantime. These were the only happy snowdrops we saw while we were there having a super hot bowl of scrumptious pumpkin soup and a very naughty piece of gorgeous cake!

Folly view

Back out exploring more of the garden, we saw this long view from one of the follies.


While exploring I found this lovely wood carving which is a memorial to the Miller family, Captain Horace Morgan Miller, his wife Mary Elizabeth Miller and their daughter Barbara.


Stone busts of worthies are added when enough funds become available through visitors giving their small change to form a mile of pennies. They are obviously expecting to collect a lot more pennies as they have quite a few empty plinths! It had started snowing, you can see the snow lying on the ice on the pond.

17oo plants

The garden area in front of this folly has been planted with plants from the 1700s which is  when the big house was built.

Woodland face

Walking near the perimeter of the garden I found this face, can you see it, 2 eyes, a bulbous nose and a mouth?  All formed by beech tree roots!

Box cubes

Time to go almost, snow was coming down heavier and we had a 2hr journey ahead of us. The box cubes took my fancy, I have rather a lot of box balls and thought that the small ones up our drive could be cut into cubes instead, they are just getting to the right size for shaping, so I know what I will be doing in the summer!

Winter aconite

Almost back to the car when we saw this lovely display of winter aconites shining out through the snow, almost looking like a patch of sunshine.


When we got back to Devon, what did we find?……my own snowdrops standing upright in the warmer temperatures!! So, the moral of all this is not to go by the temperatures you are having where you live, but to try and find out how cold it is where you are going to visit. We had a lovely time together, it was the only time we could have met up with my friend in the foreseable future, so in spite of the problems with the snowdrops,  there was so much else to look at in the garden and yes, we will go again one day!


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18 Responses to Temperature problems.

  1. Liz says:


    Beautiful photos, it does look rather chilly though!

    Just be grateful you could even see the ground! My garden is still under snow, or rather ice now 🙁 I guess at least the plants are protected from the frosts…

    • Pauline says:

      It was very cold Liz and has turned very cold here too now ! I believe the snow is coming back by Friday, so who knows what we will have by then. Hope your snow and ice soon goes!

  2. Ooooh, looks like a lovely place, even if the ‘drops’ were not standing proudly upright. Hope to get there one day.

  3. Wonderful visit, though the snowdrops were drooping. There is something so intimate about seeing a garden in the wintertime. This garden looks lovely in all seasons.

    My G. ‘Flore Pleno’ are just nubs poking up, so nice to see your doubles coming along. Snow for us today, but should be 40 F (4C) tomorrow.

    • Pauline says:

      Like your weather, ours can’t make up it’s mind what to do. Snowdrops are still coming through, even though some hybrids came up early when it was warm, and are now going over, others are still catching up.
      Painswick was lovely, showing us that the bare bones of a garden in winter are almost as interesting as the abundance of summer, a different sort of beauty.

  4. It’s the best time of year to see the bare bones of a garden. That’s a cracking view through the long moorish window. Soup and cake are very high up on my list, especially when the weather is this cold.

    • Pauline says:

      I think everyone else in the restaurant was enjoying the soup Janet, it was so cold! The garden was really interesting in spite of no flowers on parade, it was fun exploring everywhere, in and out of the follies. Lots of focal points and cross axis to admire, the underlying design really shone through.

  5. wellywoman says:

    Painswick is a great place, Pauline. Sorry it was so cold. We’re on the other side of the Severn Estuary and the ground has been frozen solid for a good week or so now. The sheep at Painswick are great aren’t they? I would love to have a big enough garden to have some sculptures like that, they always make me smile. It’s a little milder here today so I’m just going to pop out and see if the ground is still frozen.

    • Pauline says:

      The sheep were so lifelike WW, it only dawned on us that they weren’t real when they didn’t move, even though we were getting closer and closer! Do they move them around?! Once more we have freezing temperatures, the weather just doesn’t know what to do, they say more snow is on the way for us soon, just as well our plants are adaptable.

  6. Cyndy says:

    Pauline – what a magical place – I visited a few Junes ago, when the columbines were knee high and foxgloves surrounded that semicircular folly. Like all great gardens, it’s lovely even in winter.

    • Pauline says:

      Cyndy, I can imagine the folly with summer flowers round it, it must have been a beautiful sight. We will have to return in the summer next time and enjoy the flowers ourselves.

  7. Alberto says:

    I like the way you got the most of your visit despite the pizza-snowdrops, the garden should be very nice to see. I liked the box cubes, I need to do the same in a new bed I’m planning now. I bought six osmanthus x burkwoodii though, because I’m not sure box could stand in full sun where I need the cubes. Will you post the pictures of your cubes clipping? I would be very interested!

    • Pauline says:

      What a super description Alberto – pizza snowdrops – exactly how they were!! Will try and remember to take photos when clipping the box in the front, they are only small at the moment but will start shaping them in June, that seems a long way off at the moment!

  8. debsgarden says:

    Yes, I can see the face! And those sheep definitely had me fooled! The garden was lovely, even in winter with the drooping snowdrops.

    • Pauline says:

      It’s surprising what you can see sometimes when you are looking at the bark of a tree, isn’t it Deb, glad you can see it too! We enjoyed our day out in spite of the snowdrops not being very happy, even in winter it is good to go garden visiting.

  9. lol Pauline you made me laugh with the sheep story, testament to a good sculpter, it sound very cold with a wonderful raw beauty, the other thing that’s nice about visiting out of season is the lack of crowds, when places are crowded you can’t see the place for people, that’s a beautiful Eagle sculpture too, Frances

    • Pauline says:

      You’re right about the lack of people Frances, we almost had the place to ourselves, think the others were staying much longer in the restaurant trying to get warm!! The sheep were so realistic we were fooled for quite some time, whoever made them was very talented, maybe I need one for when I let part of the lawn grow long in the summer as a mimi meadow!

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