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Gates open for stunning spring displays at Lincolnshire's Doddington Hall 

Gates open for stunning spring displays at Lincolnshire's Doddington Hall 

An early arrival of spring and higher than average temperatures has triggered a spectacular display of spring colour in the gardens at Lincolnshire's Doddington Hall. So much so, that owners, Claire and James Birch, have decided to extend the opening of their gardens next week to enable more visitors to see the stunning spring displays.

The Elizabethan gardens will be open daily for one week only between Sunday 17 February and Sunday 24 February, giving visitors the chance to wander around the carpets of snowdrops, cyclamen and crocuses. The gardens will then be open on Sundays through to Sunday 31 March

It was announced earlier this month that the gardens would be open on Sundays for the Hall's annual Spring Bulb Pageant. So next week's opening will be a special bonus for visitors, allowing people the chance to view beautiful vistas, admire the scents of the winter-flowering scented shrubs which are plentiful in the gardens. These include Viburnum bodnantense; Lathyrus purpusii and Wintersweet – Chimonanthus praecox as well as the buttercup witch hazel.

The Spring Bulb Pageant is a firm date in the Doddington Hall calendar having been started in the 1950s by Ralph and Antonia Jarvis, the grandparents of current owner, Claire Birch. But this year's changes will be a slight alteration to tradition. 

Explained Claire: “My father and late mother continued in my grandparents’ footsteps and planted and moved 150,000 bulbs over a 25-year period. I’m proud to carry on the tradition and added a further 5,000 snowdrops, using some of the money I inherited from my maternal grandmother, Cecily. Carpets of ‘Cecily’s Snowdrops’ can be seen by visitors as they walk along the nature trail. The bulbs are a spectacular feature at Doddington and we look forward to welcoming visitors during the Spring Bulb Pageant.”

Garden and Woodland Manager, David Logan, said: “The gardens are particularly beautiful during the spring. There are many species to be seen right from the beginning of February with our wonderful snowdrops and the colourful cyclamen coum and crocus tommasinianus. It's a lovely time to explore the gardens as they wake up after the winter.”

Doddington Hall Gardens, just a few miles outside of Lincoln, will open daily between 17 February and 24 February, 12 to 4.30pm (11am on Sundays) and then on Sundays up to 31 March, 11am to 4.30pm. Tickets, available from the Gatehouse, cost £7 (adults), £3.50 (child). Family tickets are also available at £18. Historic Houses and RHS member cards are accepted. From Sunday 7 Aprilthe Hall and Gardens will be open Wednesdays, Fridays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays. The shops and cafe are open daily. For details visit www.doddingtonhall.com or call 01522 694308. Information about the woodland walk can be found on: https://www.doddingtonhall.com/event/winter-woodland-garden-walk/

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