Ladies, you are invited to a virtual tour of my snowdrops as unfortunately we still can’t be together, hopefully by next year I will be able to invite you all to come round once more to see the snowdrops .I know the heading says “for WI Members” but my usual readers are also invited to come with us as we wander round my tiny woodland looking at snowdrops and other flowers which are braving the winter weather at the moment, so far just frost or torrential rain for us while the rest of the country is struggling with snow. Your visits usually happen at this time of year and start with coffee and cake, but I’m afraid this time you will have to make it yourself, it might be a good idea to have your mug of coffee with you as this could take some time! We will start with the flowers by the drive where you usually park your cars.
Hellebore standing up very well to all our rain.
Still in the same bed by the drive, these narcissus should not be almost flowering now, I’ve never known them this early before.
Camellia by the house is covered in buds, it is going to look amazing.
Come round to the side where we will find more flowers.
Do you remember the old tin bath that was used for my brother and myself during the war. It is now home to iris reticulata and crocus, but only one is flowering at the moment.
By the back door, the Chaenomeles ( quince) is flowering and has been since November, I rely on this plant for colour all through the winter and it never lets me down.
If we go up onto the lawn we will get to the start of the snowdrops.
The first “special” that we come to is G. Trumps, he is big, he is bold and he is marching across the border as if he owned it!
In spite of his thuggish habits, the markings on Trumps are beautiful.
Galanthus Sprite which is fairly new but increasing nicely.
G. elwesii, one of my earlier purchases, this one has variable markings.
G. Robin Hood in the back border is looking lovely in the rare bit of sunshine last week!
A couple of special doubles in the border in front of the woodland.
Into the woodland now and the first large clump is G. Little John, he is a large snowdrop and catches the eye every time I cross the bridge.
G. Little John has nice markings too!
Narcissus Rijnveld’s Early Sensation were late this year. They are supposed to be flowering by Christmas and up until this year that is what they have always done, but this year the buds didn’t open until the middle of January, I wonder why?
G. Merlin, one of my first “specials”, bought many years ago now.
Lovely dainty G. St. Anne.
G. Atkinsii in the front with G. Magnet behind. The woodland floor is beginning to look very white.
G. Lord Lieutenant standing proudly in the woodland.
G. Atkinsii, flowers wide open, they look as though they are about to take off.
G. Magnet was also one of my first ones and as you can see, increases very well.
Little Crocus tommasinianus are just starting to flower. I pulled up loads of ivy when I was tidying the leaves and found that they had been seeding themselves under it, so I should have a nice large splash of purple among all the snowdrops soon.
The sun came out later and opened the crocus for any passing bee. Bees only fly when the temperature is above 10C and the crocus only open when it is above 10C, so that pollen and nectar are available. Isn’t nature wonderful!
G. Madelaine is fairly new but she is doing well with her yellow markings.
Very pretty G. Ermine Lace.
G. Hobsons Choice is the large clump with G. Ivy Cottage Corporal to the left of it.
G. Ivy Cottage Corporal has inner markings just like a corporals stripes.
G. Lapwing are maybe past their best now but I had to include them as I like them so much. This is on the little slope at the school end of the woodland, yes, you’re only half way round!
G. Diggory puffed out as he should be with his lovely textured petals.
G. Wendy’s Gold is waiting for some warm weather before she opens her flowers to show her yellow inner markings.
G. Jaquenetta is a beautiful double snowdrop, with a full skirt and lovely markings.
G. Jack in the Green, yes, it reminds me of lovely meals out with the undergardener! Nice clear markings with super dark green leaves. This is now on the newish path made a couple of years ago to extend the planting.
All white Godfrey Owen.
Louise Ann Bromley is a big girl, she is the same size as Little John! all the snowdrops planted along the new path have settled in well and are increasing nicely, some are still to open their flowers so will have a post to themselves later.
G. Cotswold Beauty is fairly new but increasing nicely, with all green inner petals.
Species Galanthus woronowii is seeding about happily at the end of the woodland, making a nice drift of its own.
Back out of the woodland and the last clumps of snowdrops are on the rockery.
G Angelique is increasing well and soon I will be able to spread her around to make more. It has made me realise that I need more snowdrops on the rockery to be able to see them from the house, any excuse to buy some more!
Yellow G. Spindlestone Surprise has been moved to the rockery from the border with Trumps. He was charging through the border pushing through everything that was there, so I thought it better to move Spindlestone out of his way, I’m glad it survived the move!
Other flowers that you might have noticed while wandering round are…..
Iris reticulata Pauline suddenly pops up every January, she’s very reliable!
The camellia in the corner by the school always starts flowering in November, another reliable one.
A different Iris reticulata on the alpine scree.
Iris unguicularis by the dining room window, this flowers on and off all winter and looks too delicate to survive , but somehow they manage.
Leucojum vernum, the spring snowflake, on the rockery is a different family from snowdrops which are in the Galanthus family. The flowers are more like Tiffany lampshades.
Also on the rockery are a few Cyclamen coum, but I must get more as they make such a nice splash of colour.
For some time there has been the most delicious perfume in the woodland, coming from a small shrub, Sarcococca. The flowers are almost over now and they are only tiny, but they certainly pack a punch!
Just as the flowers of Sarcococca are fading, the perfume now comes from Daphne bholua in the corner. When the wind is in the right direction, from the west, the whole woodland smells delightful!
Now for the hellebores, please excuse my hand, but the only way I can photograph them! This one is on the rockery.
This is my one of my favourites, in the corner by the school.
Lovely, just like blackberry ripple ice cream!
Another with a beautiful dark nectary, and a thin edging of the same colour, very classy!
Still waiting to be planted, poor thing. I think its new home will be on the rockery as I need more hellebores there.
I planted some crocus in the back lawn, but only a few have started flowering as yet, I’ll have to do another post when they are all up and flowering.
I’ll just finish with a few long views in the woodland.
All through lockdown I have been busy getting the back garden and woodland ready for you as though you were coming, even though I knew there was no chance of that. There were so many leaves to rake up so that the snowdrops could be seen properly, I have never known so many before, my poor arms ached every day! I still have more to do on the rockery, then I will be sorted. Normally I have help to get everything ready for snowdrops, originally it was the undergardener who helped me and then various gardeners, but this year my present gardener decided to have 2 months holiday and I haven’t seen him since before Christmas and I won’t see him again until March 3rd! In spite of this I have had company during lockdown……
….this is who has kept me company, he/she swoops down as soon as I come out of the back door, I have to be careful where I put my feet. Once I start work it is diving between my feet to pounce on anything that wriggles, at the same time singing to me! Lovely companion.
Working in the garden has been my salvation this last year, especially this latest lockdown, it has been wonderful being out in the garden nearly every day, breathing in the fresh air and seeing all the bulbs starting to pop their noses up, I realise how lucky I am. I hope you all enjoyed your wander round with me, at least you didn’t have to bring your waterproofs and wellies this time! Hopefully we will all be able to meet up again soon, I had my first vaccination last week and I’m sure most of you have had yours, we must all stay safe for a bit longer before we can start seeing each other at our meetings once more. Thank you for your company, I hope you enjoyed your visit!