TRADITIONALLY the first flower of the year, snowdrops have come to symbolise hope, making them a welcome sight for residents in Stroud.

These beautiful images were taken yesterday morning at Painswick Rococo Garden, which boasts one of the largest collections of naturalised snowdrops in the country.

And just in time for the snowdrop bloom, sculptor Natasha Houseago has been putting the finishing touches to her wooden snowdrop sculpture situated in the garden.

Natasha is working as artist in residence at the Rococo Garden.

She has been carving ash wood from the garden's trees that have succumbed to ash dieback disease.

The first sculpture is a scorched double sided flower inspired by the Knautia Macedonica flower, which was growing in the garden.

The second carving is directly inspired by an ash pod/key and has been suspended from a tree so it spins in the wind like a seed pod.

The most recent sculpture is an abstracted snowdrop as now they are beginning to shoot up across the gardens.

The garden is open daily 10am – 5pm until Sunday 27 February for snowdrop season by online advance booking only.

Photographer Simon Pizzey