Remembrance installation at home of Charles Darwin will see 1,300 cast iron Snowdrop flowers displayed in a ‘sea of snowdrops’– each snowdrop standing for one of the patients cared for by St Christopher’s at any time. 

Between 28 January and 5 February thousands of people who’ve died will be remembered with an installation of Snowdrop flowers in the beautiful grounds of the home of Charles Darwin in the pretty village of Downe, south of Bromley. 

With a new design for 2023 — four petals and a textured leaf — the 1,300 handcrafted iron ‘sea of snowdrops’ will be displayed in the beautiful gardens of Down House following a similar installation in 2021. 

Each Snowdrop is unique and is available for people to dedicate in memory of a loved one. Once the installation is finished, those who’ve dedicated a Snowdrop will receive theirs to keep forever in their garden, house or special place of remembrance as a keepsake. Snowdrops can be dedicated from 10 January online here:  

Kirsty Aked, whose husband Chris Aked died of bowel cancer aged 33 in 2017, bought a Snowdrop in 2021 in memory of him. She said: “Our daughter Freya was just 11 weeks old when my husband Chris was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer. He sadly died five months later. Even though Freya has no memories of her own of her Dad, I was determined we’d keep his memory alive by talking about him every day. Two years ago I bought a snowdrop in his memory and we visited the mesmerising ‘Snowdrops for St Christopher’s’ installation at Down House.  
“Chris’s snowdrop is now in the garden next to our pear tree. A symbol of hope, it helps both Freya and I to remember Chris and for her to get to know the kind, talented and lovely person he was.  Freya and I are looking forward to adding a 2023 Snowdrop for St Christopher’s and starting a collection. The special place in our garden gives us space to talk about Chris and share memories and photos.” 

All proceeds from the Snowdrop installation will help to fund vital hospice care across South London; which is provided through nurses, support staff and St Christopher’s world-class education programme. 

The installation will be open to the public for free from 28 January until 5 February.  Time slots for visits can be booked at St Christopher’s website here  

The Snowdrops installation would not have been possible without the support and help of the staff and volunteers of Down House and English Heritage. St Christopher’s are so grateful to the Down House team for creating the display and hosting visits. 

Legacy and in Memory Manager at St Christopher’s, Rachel Hedley, said: “The Snowdrops represent those we have loved and carry forwards in our hearts as the green shoots of spring bring hope for the future.  

“By donating and dedicating a Snowdrop to someone they want to celebrate and remember, people will be supporting St Christopher’s to continue its vital work to provide the very best end of life care across south east London.  

“In 2021 demand outstripped supply of the Snowdrops for St Christopher’s so don’t hesitate to dedicate your Snowdrop in 2023.” 

To buy a Snowdrop for a minimum suggested donation of £35, people can dedicate online here or call St Christopher’s Hospice on 0208 768 4575.