A change of colour is good for the soul so why settle for the blue when you can have white – and this is the season to be white; not the white of the heavy snows causing havoc in central Europe at the moment but the white of snowdrops in the garden.
The unusual weather of one year does not confirm climate change but recent years certainly point towards a trend. Last winter and early spring were certainly dreadful for us with “The Beast from the East” and the almost unprecedented snow falls of March. Summer brought a prolonged drought and then we had a long, marvellous and most enjoyable autumn. Winter has been exceptionally mild – we have had only one mild frost here in Waterford – and the snowdrop season has come in on the gallop with many cultivars flowering ahead of their normal dates.
I cut grass here in the last week of December and again at the start of this year. This is very unusual here for we normally have a very high water table in winter; consequently, very soft ground; so that the lawnmower would leave heavy tracks in the grass and do more harm than good. These past few weeks have not only been mild here but have also been dry and we have been able to be in the garden almost every day.
It is a regular comment of mine that snowdrops can be especially enjoyed at this time of the year because this can be done at leisure, as it is a time of the year when, generally, work is simply not possible in the garden and is a time of enjoyment and the absence work. Conditions are different this year but the enjoyment of the snowdrops is as good as ever.
Here is a quick overview of the snowdrop year to date…just the highlights!
The first snowdrops in the open garden come in mid-November with Galanthus elwesii ‘Barnes’, G. ‘Faringdon Double’ and G. ‘Castlegar’
Early December brings ‘Castlegar’, ‘Colossus’ and ‘Mrs. Macnamara’ – two of which have Irish connections, one more than the other!
This season brought several snowdrops into flower ahead of their normal time. I suppose such changes in flowering times and patterns is to be expected as our climate changes. I haven’t, to date, noticed that it has had any detrimental effects on the plants.
And the season continues and will continue to the end of March, treasure after treasure, joy after joy. It is good, I feel, that we can find joy in such simple things as these flowers.
Just a few more – for there is always a few more!
Enough! There is always the temptation to go on and on, to show all and every snowdrop in flower in the garden. Enough is enough…for the moment.