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THE upcoming Snowdrop Festival is a sure sign that Winter won't last forever.
From January 25 to March 11, many of Scotland’s finest gardens, woodlands, and estates will be opening their doors for the festival.
Crathes Castle near Banchory, Fyvie Castle and Castle Fraser near Inverurie are all taking part – hosting walks and talks and showing off their swathes of snowdrops to visitors.
Catherine Erskine, the chairwoman of Discover Scottish Gardens, brought the Snowdrop Festival to Scotland 14 years ago.
She said: “Snowdrops foretell the changing of the seasons and, for many of us, they are a welcome indicator that spring is just around the corner.
"We are very lucky in Scotland to have such a fantastic climate for snowdrops, with many species flourishing here and creating magnificent displays across the North East."
Snowdrops first appeared in Scotland in the 18th century.
The plant is not native to these shores, but its hardiness and adaptability allows it to thrive in the Scottish climate.
Its botanical name is Galanthus, which means milk flower – an apt name for the dainty white flower whose buds look like drops of milk hanging from the stem.
For details of all the gardens and grounds taking part in the event, go to Visit Scotland's website.