YAWA - Your Event Guide for February

Here's the latest monthly event guide as compiled by the You Ask, We Answer team :D

Snowdrops are bravely showing their heads to reassure us that Spring really is on its way. Many gardens noted for snowdrops have events in full swing this month. The coldest start to winter for over 30 years should give us a magnificent display this year, to more than satisfy all Galanthophiles * Details of National Trust properties with snowdrop events can be found here. Other properties worth visit are Brandy Mount House (complete with snowdrop national collection), Hodsock Priory and Welford Park. An extensive list of gardens famed for their snowdrops with links can be found here.

Like last year, I'm conducting my weekly snowdrop count. It currently stands at 898 - this time last year it stood at exactly 700.

* = the name given to snowdrop lovers, particularly collectors. I can't recall any other group having a special name like galanthophiles do - can anyone enlighten me?

Dates of note:
Bramley Apple Week - 1st-8th February - the bicentenary of the nation's favourite cooking apple kicks off this month. Click here for more information.
World Wetlands Day - 2nd February - a day to celebrate one of our most important habitats, which I wrote about here. Once again, The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust has plenty of activities in celebration both on the 2nd and all weekends during February.

St Valentine's Day - 14th February - Don't forget your beloved!

RHS Plant & Design Show - 17 & 18th February - A return to London's Horticultural Halls with a mix of nursery exhibits with plants for sale plus indoor show gardens and balcony displays. Claire at The Ecospot is exhibiting her Electric Urban Orchard design.

Fairtrade Fortnight begins - 23rd February - I wrote about Chippenham and Fair Trade as my contribution for 2008

Shrove Tuesday - 24th February - Shrove Tuesday takes place 41 days before Easter and we'll all be feasting on pancakes in preparation for Lent. Another popular Shrove Tuesday tradition in many towns is pancake racing: the oldest purports to date back to 1445 in Olney, Buckinghamshire. Lichfield also has a Shrovetide Fair and Pancake Toss, dating back over 400 years. An ancient, rather mad football game takes place in Ashbourne, Derbyshire. The players can number a thousand or more, the goal posts are miles apart and the game can go on for days. The link tells you a lot more...

Wakefield Festival of Food, Drink and Rhubarb - 27 and 28th February - Wakefield's part of the mysterious rhubarb triangle and is the perfect venue to celebrate this delicious vegetable that's eaten as a dessert. I wrote a lengthier piece about it last year.

Let me know if you've got another February event to add to the Guide.


  1. Is the Chippenham pancake race on this year?

  2. Yes - they start at 11 am outside the Town Hall.

  3. I can't wait for the snowdrops to get fully going. We certainly should have an extended show this year, especially with another cold snap predicted for next week. What about rosarians VP ? :) No other groups spring to mind yet I am sure that there must be some.

  4. Morning VP, Thought I would take a break from painting for a quick catch up. Thank you for the round up, I had forgotten world wetlands day, must try and get over to WWT Welney before the swans fly home. Gary

  5. ah have you forgotten about heucheraholics?

  6. Your snowdrops are beautiful. Thanks for brightening up my wintery day.

  7. Thanks for the interesting info on pancakes on Shrove Tuesday--I had never heard of this before. One of my friends, a good Catholic, always gave up lima beans for Lent...I don't think she had quite the right spirit:)
    Are you counting just the snowdrops in YOUR garden??

  8. Oh to be in England now that snowdrops are in bloom! (apologies to R Browning)


  9. Anna - I think it's going to ba a vintage year. Rosarians - hadn't thought of that one.

    Gary - a trip to Welney sounds a great reward after all the hard work you've planned for this weekend :)

    Emmat - (slaps forehead) how could I have forgotten? Must be having a senior moment!

    Rose - pancakes are yummy. They're the thin type, probably what you know as crepes. The snowdrop count covers my front, side and back gardens, plus the gurrilla garden at the side of the house.

    Gail - aren't they charming? Those are from the side garden.

  10. Sorry Crafty, didn't mean to leave you out. I'm glad you like them, I was sad to see you've got amother 3 months to wait over in Canada :(

  11. Here is my local snow drop count: 0. Harumph!

  12. I'm in a panic. I saw one today - just one. I have no idea what is going on. I have nothing like you, just 50 - or did. I feel like I lost a friend - 49 of them

  13. VP, it is so heavenly to see things start to grow again. The snowdrops make me hopeful that our ice and snow will soon be gone and the snowdrops will be growing here sometime soon.

  14. just wondering how/why the bramley became so well known & loved in the u.k.? when i do hear of apples grown in england, they only variety i hear is 'bramley'. i hear mostly 'red delicious' in the u.s., however 'granny smith', 'yellow delicious', 'pippin', & 'gala' are also heard frequently. i wonde, why only one apple in england?

  15. Monica - is that because you haven't planted any or that they're not through yet?

    Helen - I think there's always a preliminary one that's a bit braver than the rest, so here's hoping you other 49 show through soon.

    HHG - welcome! I think of snowdrops as a hopeful sign too. They always seem to show when the weather's at its coldest, just about when we're about to give up on Spring altogether

    Petoskystone - eek I meant cooking apple not dessert! Have amended my post accordingly. As its national bramley week I think your questions deserve to be answered in a post all on their own later this week :)

  16. There is snow on my snowdrops this afternoon, what a great time of year in the garden. I did discover when looking into the history of ferns, in Victorian times the popularity of collecting them was called Pteridomania. Glad I haven't got it! x

  17. Hi Louise, now I've got snow on my snowdrops too! Pteridomania does sound bad doesn't it?


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