It's always nice to welcome in spring with a visit to Benington Lordship Gardens, which is just four miles east of Stevenage in Hertfordshire. This seven acre garden surrounds a beautiful Georgian manor house and the remains of a Norman motte and bailey castle.
In February visitors like to blow those winter cobwebs away to herald in the signs of warmer days with a stroll around these snowdrop lined pathways. I have been coming here for about seven or eight years now to photograph these pretty delicate flowers and over that time this location has become more popular than ever.
The gardens were initially laid out in the early 20th century around the manor house which was constructed around 1700. I didn't realise until recently that the garden is also home to a collection of 250 rare snowdrop varieties. The snowdrops are displaying from February 7th until March 4th and following this you have the scillas and daffodils that follow at Easter and the spectacular herbaceous borders that are a riot of colour all summer.
I always find it challenging trying to photograph here but I found that a low down perspective tended to give the best results. I always take a small cushion with me to kneel down low on but this soon became soaking wet leaving damp patches around my knees! I'm also always conscious of what is in the background of the picture, shooting with a small depth of field for the close ups of the flowers to add that soft bokeh effect to the image.
Admission fee to the gardens is only £5.00 for adults and £2.00 for under 16s with the under 12s free. There is also a small tea shop for refreshments after you have completed your walk.