|Galanthus nivalis, the common Snowdrop|
|Galanthus 'John grey'|
|Galanthus 'Lady Elphinstone'|
In recent years Snowdrops have become a bit of a collectable genus in the horticultural world. Their collectors have even earned their own collective name: Galanthophiles. People will pay a small fortune for one tiny bulb of rarer varieties, with some going for over £300! I once bought 3 bulbs of Galanthus 'John Grey' for £8 a bulb and thought that was excessive. There are many books on the subject and several specialist nurseries selling them. Popular and very collectable at the moment are yellow snow drops such as G. 'Wendy's Gold'. Another yellow is G. 'Lady Elphinstone', a double and so very striking.
|Galanthus plicatus 'Billy'|
When buying snowdrops, it is always better to buy them in the green, i.e. when they are in leaf, not as dried bulbs. There are lots of nurseries advertising snowdrops in the green: be sure they come from a reputable source and are not being dug up in the wild! For some of the rarer gems have a look at the following nurseries:
|Snowdrops and aconites|
A great way to see Snowdrops en masse and spend a pleasant Sunday afternoon with the family is to visit one of the many gardens that open in February for the snowdrops. The easiest way to find out where there is one near you is to do an internet search for "where to see snowdrops". Here are some of my favourites and recommendations:
Cambo gardens, Fife www.camboestate.com
Howick Hall, Northumbria www.howickhallgardens.org
|Galanthus 'Hill Poe'|
We were away last weekend in Northumbria and went to see the Snowdrops at Howick Hall, which was near where we were staying. We had a pleasant walk there after a fun walk on the beach to tire out Bracken the dog. Their gardens and arboretum are carpeted with snow drops and their cream teas are excellent too. Howick Hall is also the home of the Earl Greys of tea fame. It was a great weekend, even the weather was good. We ate lots of fabulous food, the cottage was perfect and Bracken had a great time on the beach. Here are some shots of Bracken, the amazing fuzzy dog!