This is sometimes a difficult time of year for gardeners. It’s immensely frustrating to look out onto our forlorn garden with wilting shrubs and dank damp shadowy areas. But the growth underneath all that is gaining pace and within a month we’ll be festooned with wonderful sheets of white. Well we may be covered in snow too but I’m thinking here of snowdrops – great drifts of these supremely beautiful little plants that seem to put up with the most unbelievable amount of bad weather but miraculously pop back up year on year. There are a couple of old villages dotted around in every region – they’ll be known for their snowdrop drifts and crowds of families go driving out to excitedly explore them. It helps to bring the spring into focus and if fmilies get the bug, they can get gardening themselves from this very exmple. There are some really super gardens open early for snowdrops and bluebell sightings – they are often able to offer very good value family season tickets which encourages more visiting. Also, the national heritage charities open their fantastic range of gardens at this time of year and not only does it get families outside, it starts a spark for some children of hitherto hidden interest in houses, history, gardens etc.