While spring is always welcomed few express any sadness at the passing of winter yet it has its own special highlights and plant interests which we treasured as they provided beauty and enjoyment when little else was in flower.
Winter is the season of Witch hazel with its spidery flowers in yellows, reds, oranges and, my favourite, marmalade. It is the season of the pretty blue daisy-like flowers of Olearia phlogopappa ‘Combers Blue’ and the sweet-smelling Lonicera fragrantissima. The hellebores delight us early in the New Year but no flower carries us through the winter season as strongly or with more delight as do the snowdrops.
Here, we had our first snowdrops of the season in flower in the first week of October – cultivars of the the Greek species, Galanthus reginae-olgae, which I grow in pots in the glasshouse as they will not thrive in the wet soil of our garden – and now, at the end of March, we still have a number of cultivars in flower, giving a flowering season spanning six months. Few other plants give such a service in the garden.
Rather than list all the snowdrops in flower at the moment I’ll show a few of Irish origin, as these are my special interest among snowdrops.
I could go on but enough is enough!
Snowdrops give joy and interest when little else is in flower in the garden and there is a certain sadness at the end of their season – but they will return and, perhaps, that is a reason to look forward to winter!