Searching for Spring at Stowe Gardens

Catching those first glimpses of spring seems to come when we need them most.  Just when we think the days can’t get any bleaker, that winter will last forever and the skies have permanently turned grey, along come the tiny glimmers. Peeking out under the debris of winter are snowdrops, aconites, daffodils, crocuses, primroses, hazel catkins dangling on bare branches, lambs frolicking in fields and birds chattering overhead. These beautiful delicate joys not only survive but thrive in these cold bleak conditions and we should follow their lead!

We togged up warm and headed out the door on a beautiful bright February morning with our checklist fresh in our minds – out on the hunt for spring.

We headed to Stowe, a National Trust Garden, although at 250 acres I am not sure Garden is the right word. This is a perfect time to visit Stowe as it thrives in Spring.  This estate is not about big flower beds and bright colours, it is all in the shades of green.  Trees, shrubs and grass take the main stage, with temples, pavilions, a grotto, gothic tower, lakes and of course the imposing Stowe House breaking up the green.

It has sheep grazing on large parts of the land and a plethora of molehills which both help to make it less showy and more natural. The enormous follies and ornate bridges do their best to show off, with something new to see around every carefully constructed corner.

There were no lambs to be found yet but the snowdrops and aconites were out, the birds overhead building their nests and the hazel catkins were out to greet us.  We borrowed a family explorers guide and went off trying to find all the winter trees shown - actually I find it quite hard to identify trees without their leaves!

Then off to warm up in the National Trust café with hot drinks and sausage rolls in the beautiful new wooden frame barn.

These 'first sign of spring sheets from the Woodland trust are great to print out and check off.

Below is the winter tree detectives guide from Stowe. 

Happy everyday adventuring x