Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Into the snowdrop season

Galanthus 'Rosie'
Although snowdrops have been flowering for months, 'the season' is just getting going in its increasingly frantic way. The first event, the snowdrop sale at Myddelton House, occurred last Saturday and was apparently a great success, with the 'snow wolves' (as someone described them on Facebook) being in fine form as they ran to snap up choice morsels from the sales tables. The Daily Telegraph reports today on a nicely green-marked discovery made there on Saturday by Matt Bishop. Ebay sales are also in full flow, with Galanthus elwesii 'Kencot Ripple' currently the front-runner for the year, having sold recently for £468, causing ripples aplenty across the social media.

Next weekend there will be the Alpine Garden Society's snowdrop day in Stratford and many others will occur through February. A major absence is the Galanthus Gala, but an alternative, developed to fill the gap, is the Snowdrop Study, Sale and Social day on 15 February, taking place as part of the Shaftesbury Snowdrops Festival in Dorset. As with the Gala there will be a selection of vendors selling interesting snowdrops, on this occasion including Matt Bishop, Richard and Val from Woodchippings, Joe Sharman's Monksilver Nursery and Tom Mitchell's Evolution Plants, and talks. I'm speaking on the subject of 'Primrose Warburg and her garden at South Hayes',  accompanying Andy Byfield (speaking on  Turkish species) and Melvyn Jope (Greek autumn-flowering snowdrops). The organisers have made it very clear that this is a social event, not just a study day, so I hope to get chance to socialise with all these friends - and many others as well. The programme and booking information is available here.

Colesbourne Park will be open as usual each weekend in February and the first weekend of March (info here) - I look forward to a visit in due course. I'm also hoping to get to Austwick Hall, at the other side of North Yorkshire, where my friends Michael and Eric have created a snowdrop walk over the past several years. They are open on various days in February.

I see from pictures online that the flowering season is well advanced in southern gardens, but here in North Yorkshire it is still comparatively early and the majority of my snowdrops are still some way off flowering. These are a few whose pictures I took during a lull in the rain on Saturday. It was raining and cold yesterday too, when Julia Lewis of Radio York visited to interview 'a North Yorkshire galanthophile' for her programme to be broadcast on Sunday morning - I hope I conveyed something of the charm and fascination of snowdrops.

G. elwesii 'Rosemary Burnham'

'Clovis' - a lopsided curiosity.

G. elwesii 'Harewood Twin'


  1. These are really lovely snowdrops you have here! We need to wait another month or two before we see ours. Last year I posted a picture of blooming Galanthus nivalis 'Flore Pleno' on 1st of May!

  2. Great article. Maybe if you are interested in unique garden products, try www.designsondemand.co.uk


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