SNOWDROP displays at a historic country estate in Hampshire have burst into bloom earlier than usual.

Residents who will visit Mottisfont in the coming weeks will have the chance to admire the snowdrops as they have already bloomed due to a mild winter.

Sixteen thousand bulbs of the much-loved winter flower have been planted in recent years, according to managers at Mottisfont, and the snowy clusters can now be enjoyed near the start of Mottisfont’s river walk.

Mottisfont’s head gardener Jonny Norton said: “We planted native species Galanthus nivalis, which self-seed and colonise, so every year they spread a little further, which is delightful. You’ll also spot them by the font stream, and in our fabulous Winter Garden.”

Snowdrops are just one of the winter delights at Mottisfont feeling the benefit of these mild temperatures.

“The Winter Garden really is looking magnificent right now. If you close your eyes you’ll be hit by the fragrance – there’s one particular daphne bush which is working its socks off. Coupled with the scented box, it’s like being in a perfumery, but better, because the smell is completely natural,” Mr Norton added.

There are also winter berries and other late and early-flowering perennials which provide colour during the shortest days of the year.