There are certain plants that inspire enthusiasm bordering on fanaticism; and despite its delicate looks and unassuming demeanour, the snowdrop is one of them. Collectors (who are known as galanthophiles) gather in scarves and gloves at chilly ‘Snowdrop Days’ around the country. Here they seek out rarities (and pay extraordinary prices for them) while debating the arcane distinctions between varieties that look more or less identical to the rest of us.
You might not be tempted to join them, but you’re certainly likely to be tempted to buy a few snowdrops – for a reasonable price – to add some sparkle in the depths of winter. From drifts of dainty Galanthus nivalis in churchyards or woods, or scattered through our borders, to sumptuous doubles and large teardrop forms with real impact, snowdrops lift our spirits and make us smile while the ice is breaking.
Whether or not they are truly native to Britain is debatable (and opinion seems to be coming down in favour of the latter), but they certainly look perfectly at home in UK woodland and in domestic gardens.
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January 18, 2020