What is it this year about snowdrops?
Am I the only one who is noticing bloggers writing, Twitter tweeting and magazines and newspapers publishing articles and page after page of photographs – are they all suffering Galanthus mania?
This flower is nothing new, it appears in all its glory year after year, so why this year does there seem to be a prolific amount of comment and photos wherever I turn?
However, I am not complaining though.
I am in the “I like snowdrops” camp and do get a sense of happiness when I look out of my lounge window and first notice tiny white blobs peeking through the dead leaves on the flowerbed. I even felt a blog post coming on and took photos of the perfect little flower that re-appears annually, every Winter, in the front border.
That was until I felt bombarded with other people’s thoughts as to whether they loved or loathed the plant. There is a myriad of photos of Galanthus and endless lists of where we can go to find woodland blizzards of them up drifting up banks and nestled in the undergrowth.
I shelved the idea for a week or so and then thought, why not, go for it anyway. I may be leaving myself wide open to others thinking “OMG not another blog about snowdrops!” I don’t care, I am going to be self-indulgent. It’s my blog, they are my snowdrops and although only the common Galanthus nivalis, I am writing my post regardless and add my own photographs.
I am a little disappointed with the performance they have put in so far. Supposedly the Galanthus Nivalis is vigorous and easy to establish, so, after 10 years, I would have expected my own little blizzard outside my window. Sadly, this is not the case and the few small clumps, which boldly push through the soil every Winter have kept themselves very much to themselves and decided not to spread far from where they were originally planted.
A few interesting (or not, depending on your point of view) facts:-
- A Galanthophile is an enthusiastic collector of snowdrops. In the February issue of Gardens Illustrated there is an article about a collector in Ireland who has a collection of 200 varieties.
- The nivalis although the most common species, is not native to Britain. It was introduced in the 17th Century making its way through Europe from Italy.
- Soldiers brought them back from the Crimean War in the mid 1800’s to plant in their gardens.
- There are 4 main wildlife varieties, nivalis, elwesii, plicatus and wrononowii. The many hybrids originate from these four.
- Not all snowdrops flower in the Winter. The ones from Greece flower in the Autumn but don’t thrive too well in our wet climate.
- The scientific name for Galanthus is milk flower.
It really is worth a visit to the wonderful gardens around this country to view great displays of snowdrops. That is if you like them, of course. I am now going to add my own list of snowdrop displays which can be seen from around the end of January to mid March. There are 23 snowdrop gardens recommended by the National Garden Scheme (ngs), some are smaller gardens but well worth a visit.
These are just a few, enjoy your visit:-
- Chippenham Park Gardens – Cambridgeshire
- Bramdean House (ngs)- Hampshire
- Pembury House (ngs)- Sussex
- Forde Abbey & Gardens – Somerset
- Painswick Rococo Garden – Gloucestershire
- Anglesey Abbey (National Trust) – Cambridgeshire (I will add this link later, the NT server is down at the moment)
- Avon Cottage (ngs) – Wiltshire
- Weeping Ash (ngs) – Lancashire
- Snowdrop Days at Chelsea Physic Garden Feb 4th-12th (winningreview.wordpress.com)
- Galanthus (rosewarnegardendesigns.wordpress.com)
- In pictures: the National Trust’s best places to see snowdrops (telegraph.co.uk)
- The whites of spring: snowdrops at Colesbourne Park (telegraph.co.uk)