It’s Now or Never!

The road to hell is paved with good intentions and my thoughts of regular updates on snowdrops in the garden had almost fallen underfoot to be trampled and left in the company of those New Year’s resolutions so quickly cast aside. (I didn’t make any, to be honest!) As if often the case in life other demands intervene, some essential and others unwelcome, but these have been dealt with, put aside, and I can get back to my normal routine and follow up on my intention of a series of reports through the snowdrop season.

I say it’s now or never for the snowdrops have been growing at a pace since Christmas and if I left an update any later I feel I would have been swamped with their number and it would have become an almost impossible task, certainly one that would have demanded a report longer and that could be tedious for the reader.

Snowdrop enthusiasts will regularly ask if we are having an early or late season, if the snowdrops are earlier or later to flower than normal. Of course, reports will vary depending on where the grower is living. Here, the season has been about average but the period since Christmas has seen continuous low temperatures with light frosts at night and daytime averages around 7 – 8C. This allows the snowdrops to grow away but the flowers don’t open until the magic 10C is reached so few have shown of their best except in some favoured sheltered corners where the sun shine on them. Let’s begin with some snowdrop views which show lots of snowdrops but very few of them open:

There are several (some would say, many) snowdrops in the garden which are simply “just another snowdrop”, ones with little to distinguish them from another but they may have that saving grace of being good growers, healthy and sturdy plants which increase well and provide those background patches of white which enliven our winter gardens and, for that alone, they are to be valued.

And then there are those which fulfil that vital requirement of growing well while also looking well – how we would all wish to be so endowed! These are the snowdrops I especially value and enjoy in the garden. See this photograph of Galanthus ‘Lapwing’, as an example, surely one of the most beautiful of snowdrops and an excellent grower also:

A final selection from the garden is of individual flowers – perhaps, because only one has opened in that clump or it may be that it is a new snowdrop to the garden and hasn’t bulked up sufficiently to make a photogenic group. Also included are odds and ends which I have missed above so this slideshow is a bit of a mixum-gatherum:

And, on those days when the weather is too cold to garden or take photographs of the snowdrops one can always bring a few indoors to open in the warmth of the house:

It’s Now or Never! – I think it better not to leave updates on the snowdrop season so long in future!

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22 thoughts on “It’s Now or Never!

    1. Yes, popular but not as widespread and there are difficulties sourcing different cultivars because of import regulations but there is a thriving and enthusiastic community of snowdrop enthusiasts. There is a page on Facebook, “Snowdrops in American Gardens” which I visit regularly.

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  1. Hello Paddy,
    Wonderful, well done – a superb review with excellent photos both of the garden displays and individual flower markings, which we know aren’t always that easy to capture, Many unfamiliar ones to me, and I particularly like your buttons and bows. An amazing display to persuade the unconvinced why everyone should have a few snowdrops in their garden – it’s still surprising how many people don’t,
    best wishes
    Julian

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  2. So beautiful to see, thank you. I just have the regular single and a free clumps of doubles that I’ve bulked up over the years. There are far fewer this year, sadly. I’m thinking it’s the result of a couple of unusually very wet (for here) winters and then very dry summers. Nothing else has changed.

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    1. Yes, the weather conditions can set them back but G. nivalis and G. nivalis flore pleno are tough things and will recover.

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  3. Thank you for the photographs of your wonderful snowdrops. I admit to feeling a shiver when reading your suggestion that you ‘can always bring a few indoors ‘. Thanks to my Grandmother I couldn’t do that because she warned me (many, many years ago) that it’s unlucky to bring snowdrops indoors and to do so bodes ill for the household! The power of folklore!

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    1. Yes, that’s the old saying about snowdrops but I always being them inside during the cold days of winter so they will open and the fragrance often comes as a very welcome surprise.

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