This year I have a good reason to venture outside in the freezing cold. I am going to see how my snowdrop collection is coming on.
I inherited a couple of unusual varieties from my mother a while ago, and decided last year that I could add to these a few favourites to start my own treasury, as she had always planned to do.
First to be ordered was Galanthus plicatus ‘Wendy’s Gold’ from Broadleigh Gardens, a startling variety with neat yellow marked flowers and folded leaves. There followed an order for Galanthus nivalis ‘Blewberry Tart’, a rather odd-looking but adorable snowdrop, this time from Avon Bulbs. In February I had a wonderful, if slightly extravagant day out at the RHS Early Spring Plant Fair at Westminster, where Avon Bulbs and other excellent nurseries had impressive stands… more purchases were made.
Much cheaper were some misnamed stray snowdrops found in remaindered pots in a nearby garden centre – exciting!
I also received two new-to-me snowdrops from Clive Lane, our Administrator at The Cottage Garden Society, and a dear friend. As a knowledgeable plantsman and fellow snowdrop enthusiast, I am thrilled to have a little part of his wonderful garden now growing in my own.
Clive reminded me that The CGS has a Snowdrop Group with its own annual newsletter and snowdrop day for our members, so I have joined them and now receive details of other places to visit to see and buy snowdrops, as well as reading interesting and knowledgeable articles from fellow members.
For me, snowdrop collecting gives me something to look forward to in winter, and may eventually reap its own rewards with some patience and good gardening.
Coincidentally, Landscape Magazine’s February cover features a photograph that I took of Galanthus nivalis ‘Flore Pleno‘ in my previous garden.
They are planted out somewhere here too – I must go out and have a look for them!