A few pictures were taken last weekend and I suspect this weekend will be worse. Ample warnings have been given, so now it’s up to you to proceed at your own risk. I shall try to be as brief as possible but even with that, photo per post limits will be broken. If you’re the type who feels obligated to read and leave comments I suggest a scroll to the bottom and give a quick “Oh they look nice Frank. Good for you!” and that’s it.
Snowdrop season is here after all and my filter is down.
A completely averagely perfect snowdrop to start. ‘Bess’ couldn’t flower more, but last year lost everything in a late freeze. It all comes around and I love her this year 🙂
‘Magnet’ was one of the first here. One bulb which has split up into a puddle of white, and I suspect this year he can split again to start that drift.
They’re not all plain white. ‘Green Brush’ is hopefully settling in now after I lost him twice. Sometimes a good friend comes to the rescue with a replacement!
‘Trymlet’ is one of the pagoda shaped drops referred to as an ‘ipoc’. The outer segments take on the appearance of the inner and all of a sudden it’s a new look, one which I like well enough, but…
And then there’s yellow. ‘Elizabeth Harrison’ is one of the most beautiful, and still hard to find. I was thrilled when a friend offered one up as a trade, because it’s every bit as elegant as I hoped it would be.
One of my favorite late winter views is here under the cherry. White snowdrops, magenta hardy cyclamen coum, yellow winter aconite (Eranthis). One of my first bulb books had a grander view with the same plants and I never thought I’d get even this close.
One of the winter aconite is Eranthis xtubergenii ‘Sachsengold’. It’s a E. hyemalis, E cilicica cross with the more divided foliage of its one parent. That of course doesn’t matter, but to me it does 🙂
This bed also contains the unique ‘Blewbury Tart’, the first of many Alan Street snowdrop discoveries and possibly the one which ignited his future in horticulture. Found almost fifty years ago, he must have been a toddler at the time.
I am the ‘Walrus’. A little bit was given to me two years ago and he’s finally come of age. I hope he sticks around, because I love him of course! Who would have thought a snowdrop would morph into this.
This little nivalis has a smudge of green on the tips. We call it ‘Friendship’ and although it’s barely anything special it gets passed around and it’s one of my favorite treasures.
Speaking of tiny things that aren’t anything special yet are everything special, here’s crocus gargaricus ssp. herbertii. The name is bigger than the plant, but I was ecstatic to see the golden flowers this spring even if I was the only one to notice them. It’s been awol for two years and I thought for sure it had gone to that big compost heap in the sky. Thankfully not.
In case you were wondering, winter became serious, the foxglove smothering ‘Bill Bishop’ suffered its usual demise, and Bill rose up through the withered remains. I of course ended up doing nothing, just like I prefer.
After six years galanthus ‘Art Nouveau’ has become a clump. For some reason that’s good enough and I don’t need drifts of this one. It’s kinda too special for a drift and what I should really do is divide and fertilize. A well fed bulb shows even longer inners and the extra space would let them really show off.
‘Bloomer’ is another favorite. The almost-yellow of the pale ovaries looks awesome here amongst the blue fescue.
Just a few inches down the bed, ‘Mrs. Thompson’ is for once showing off her fickle three, four, double, or twin, flowers. She just does whatever she wants. For me it’s the first time she’s done that here.
If you’re still holding up ok here’s a break from snowdrops. Crocus heuffelianus ‘tatra shades’ was amazing for all of the 48 hours it took the rabbits to find it. I guess the rabbits need their spring tonic just as much as I do.
*Schadenfreude* – the German word for pleasure one gets out of another’s misfortune. ‘Gerard Parker’ was one of my most prolific drops. He went from one to a clump of forty bulbs in just a few seasons so I moved him to a “better” spot for more showing off. It was going to be amazing I thought… until it wasn’t. Two years of late freezes nearly wiped him out and now he’s moved back to where he started. Finally he looks healthy again.
I love this view. ‘Diggory’ is in front with ‘Wendy’s Gold behind’. This is just plain showing off, but if you look at the bottom right there are two Diggory seedlings. They look nearly identical but don’t have that curl that dad (well actually mom) does, and I absolutely need to move them out to another spot before they mix in hopelessly.
Elsewhere in the garden are more seedlings. In front of ‘The Wizard’ are two siblings, one who shares dad’s green outer mark, and another without. Of course these also need new homes, but fortunately they’re a little easier to single out as seedlings.
Not a seedling but a newer one with a different kind of green marking. ‘Greenfinch’ has elegant lines on nice rounded outers, and guess what? I love it!
This one is brand new this year from an ‘in the green’ planting last spring. Some people complain vehemently about the risks of moving actively growing ‘in the green’ snowdrops, but I rarely have trouble when they arrive well cared for. I really love this one, it’s named ‘Angelina’ and it’s a newer drop which I paid an embarassingly high amount for but I don’t care.
This one was not a lot of money. It’s a plain old Galanthus elwesii from a bulk bulb order. It was probably 60 cents and although it looks amazing and yellow and therefore rare and valuable… it’s probably not. Sometimes cold and a foot or two of snow on top will have your drops coming up yellow and although it’s fun it’s not that uncommon. You can see the one behind is pulling a similar prank.
Another cruel prank was that half this ‘Viridipice’ clump has vanished. I’ll dig this weekend for clues, but it won’t be the first time a batch of newly planted dry bulbs does fine the first year and then disappears the next. usually it’s the G. nivalis types that pull this trick for me.
You’ve almost made it. Here’s some relief from endless closeups. Even if a few of the photos look nice, there’s still much to be desired here in terms of garden design, so it will still be a few years before the tour busses show up.
One of the goodies in this back bed is ‘Erway’. He’s kind of a weirdo with his conehead top, but you may have noticed that weird carries a lot of weight in the world of snowdrops.
Weird works, but so does big. ‘Moortown’ has strong, heavy flowers with a nice inner mark which bleeds up with a smear of green. Of course it’s another favorite, and unlike the photo implies it’s a pure white snowdrop.
Wow, even I’m getting tired now. Just a few more. ‘Baylham’ is one of the few doubles I like. Small, well formed, nicely upright and normally a strong green color.
Speaking of strong green color, ‘Jade’ is looking exceptionally green this spring. Actually you could just leave that as looking exceptional, because he is.
…and Sunday’s evening light leaves you off with a waterfall of ‘Percy Picton’. Normally I complain about his sprawling ways but this year, without a couple inches of snow flattening out the blooming clump, he looks great.
You made it. I forgive you for skimming. There’s no doubt I’m deep into this and hopefully for your sake my camera breaks this weekend.
But then there’s always the phone camera. Enjoy the weekend and I hope it’s sunny and safe wherever you’re at!