Let’s give the snowdrops full credit

Galanthus nivalis

I need to apologize to the snowdrops for failing to mention them during the December Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day head count.  It was only when I read the comment from Carolyn at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens mentioning the things that she had in bloom in a similar climate zone that I went back out into the yard and… there before my wondering eyes was a lovely snowdrop.  It has since acquired a friend and there are many more on the way.  So the really neat thing about snowdrops is that they come very, very early in the spring (ah, can we say winter?).  They then persist until all those other ‘normal’ bulbs start to flower.  So figure on a couple of months at least.  In addition, when they’re happy, they will spread.  I see clusters forming around all my original plantings.  I doubt they will ever catch up with the Glory of the Snow (Chionodoxa) which have spread all over the yard and into the pasture, but all the same it’s nice to have a charmer like the snowdrops not only be hardy but multiply as well.

In England snowdrops have a subculture all their own.  The National Trust organizes visits to some of their properties with outstanding snowdrop displays.  You can see a sample of a carpet of snowdrops from Bank Hall in Lancashire on Wikipedia for those who want to really get ambitious about growing snowdrops.  All it takes is a few centuries.  They have a name for the afflicted lovers of snowdrops — galanthophiles.  Galanthophilia has led to prices of up to $250 for a single bulb of rare varieties on Ebay.  It’s probably good for my gardening lust control that I haven’t seen all those rare varieties (yet).  I do note that there are seven varieties in the Brent & Becky catalog for next fall…

While I was giving credit last month to the plants which retain some green in the landscape I should also have mention some unusual spots of color that persist even in the darkest hours of the winter.  One is the Acanthus mollis ‘Tasmanian Angel’

Tasmanian Angel in Winter

Another newcomer from last year is a variety of St. John’s Wort

Hypericum calycinum 'Brigadoon'

It doesn’t have the spectacular yellow flowers of the common St. John’s Wort, but the foliage has variations of gold for most of the year.

One comment on “Let’s give the snowdrops full credit

  1. Donna

    You have a pretty nice Bloom Day with beautiful blooming images, despite the snow on the ground. Happy belated Bloom Day.