Galanthus Mania

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:-

12 thoughts on “Galanthus Mania

  1. Yes, I noticed the photography rush… everywhere. Like everything else, it will wane as time passes and people’s lives get busy… Then it might not, as it’s easy to pick up a camera and take a picture; quality is another matter! 🙂


  2. Quite right too, it is your blog, you have every right to write about snowdrops! One of things about garden blogging is that there are certain things that will almost inevitably get blogged about A LOT, snowdrops, first daffs, blossom, tomatoes… Fine by me, I like sharing in what other people are celebrating in their garden, even if I have exactly the same. Or hate it, whatever it is.

    We don’t have many snowdrops in this garden, but if FIL gets his way there will be loads in our next garden. You have been warned…


  3. I love your Entry my friend
    and I love to invite you here


  4. I’m definitely a snowdrop lover, can’t have enough of them and sometimes even open the garden for charity in February so that others can enjoy them as much as we do!! To have drifts of snowdrops, I’m afraid you have to split them and divide into smaller groups. If yours have been in for ten years you will probably find a mass of bulbs underneath the soil, so tightly packed together that they can’t flower! As soon as my clumps get to a decent size, usually after 3 or 4 yrs, then its out with the fork and divide them up into clumps of about 5 bulbs. They soon bulk up again so there is no need to worry! I usually split mine just as the leaves are dying down, but there is new thinking that it should be done in the summer, I don’t think I would be able to find mine then! Hope this helps!!


  5. Snowdrops are like a promise of spring to come, the first signs of something better to come! I walked along an old disused railway track last week and down the sides were snowdrops, big clumps of them….lovely!


  6. I’m in the green, white and sometimes yellow corner too Ronnie 🙂 Your ‘drops are beautiful. I think that your drops might be hungry and would appreciate a mulch of some description, such as a well rotted mushroom compost. Are your bulbs planted underneath evergreens? If so that could be why they are not spreading – although they are mainly woodland plants in the wild they need good light in the growing season. Hope that you can coax them to multiply in their hundreds.


  7. Mine are not vigorous either and seem to stay in small clumps. I like them but do not want to keep buying them to establish a show. Interesting facts you gathered about them.


  8. Souvenir of the Crimean War, shades of Florence Nightingale, will look at snowdrops with sadder eyes in future.


  9. Enjoyed reading about snowdrops. Viewing the great displays of snowdrops in the country must be a pleasant experience. Thank you for sharing!


  10. Am delighted that you went with the Snowdrops! I think they are very delicate and even one is a miracle as they come so early almost in the middle of the lowest point in winter. It’s funny how great minds think alike:~) Also many thanks for your very kind thoughts and words. X


  11. Well I like snowdrops, too and I loved your blog! And I too have just a few clumps of them which stay the same each year, wonder why that is.


    1. Thank you Margaret. I have read quite a bit about snowdrops lately, as you can imagine. I think mine need a little more humus they may be starved of goodness which is being sapped from the bushes they are growing under.


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