Connect with Rococo 


I happened to be at Painswick when the sun was shining, the views long, the trees magnificently silhouetted against a blue sky. I like trees better in winter than summer. The form becomes the chief point of them, not just the mass of green that is all we see in summer. And because the situation of the Painswick garden is so extraordinary, you get long views both across and down, snowdrops clothing the steep banks below the renovated Eagle House, snowdrops, many of them fat doubles, thick on the grassy bank that leads up to the viewpoint above the maze, snowdrops down by the fish pond and the square, rather dark plunge pool where surely only the most muscular of Victorians would have wanted to plunge. A bonus at Painswick was the best bank of winter-flowering cyclamen I've ever seen, pink and magenta Cyclamen coum seeding itself through the grass with an abandon I could only envy.

The Independent 2008.

The Rococo Garden has one of the largest naturalistic plantings of snowdrops in the country and is in many ways the spiritual home of Galanthus Atkinsii.

Although many believe the Romans introduced snowdrops they are more likely to have been brought to England in the early 16th Century.  Galanthus nivalis is native to a large tract of mainland Europe from the Pyrenees in the west, through France and Germany to Poland in the north, Italy, Northern Greece and European Turkey.

Most of the other species Galanthus come from the eastern Mediterranean, though several are found in South Russia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. Galanthus fosteri comes from Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey and Israel.

Snowdrop Talks 2016

We are running a series of Snowdrop Talks on the Bowling Green with our Head Gardener, Steve Quinton, or a member of his team. They will be talking about the history of the garden and the varieties of snowdrops in the garden. These will be held every Wednesday and Friday in February at 12.00.


Galanthus nivalis
Galanthus nivalis flore pleno
Galanthus Atkinsii


Galanthus Atkinsii James Backhouse
Galanthus Lady Elphinstone
Galanthus Magnet
Galanthus Lynn Sales
Galanthus S. Arnott
Galanthus Pussey Green Tips
Galanthus John Sales
Galanthus elwesii
Galanthus regina-olgae
Galanthus viridapice
Galanthus plicatus Winifred Mathius


 Known as a superior early flowering giant snowdrop G. Atkinsii has a trouble history.

James Atkins (1804 1884) a retired nurseryman originally from Northamptonshire but living in one of the estate cottages owned by the family here at Painswick. 

Atkins obtained a bulb, most likely from southern Italy around 1870 which he grew and called Galanthus imperati.  This name has lead and continues to cause confusion but is was offered by Atkins to the nursery trade as this and sales started on a commercial basis around 1875, this species was highly prized by early snowdrop collectors for its size and beauty.

In 1891 the name Galanthus Atkinsii was proposed to clear up confusion and recognise John Atkins as the selector of this particular stock.

Two year after his introduction a nurseryman from York, James Backhouse introduced a snowdrop which was to all intense and purpose identical to G. atkinsii but with irregular malformed flowers.  In 1914 E. A. Bowles called this G. Atkinsii of Backhouse; recognising it as a distinct form.  One of the great mysteries here at Painswick is the appearance of G. atkinsii James Backhouse growing in sizable clumps without ever having been purchased by the Trust or indeed the family before it.

This weather forecast is generated by the Met Office Weather Widget