What a difference sunshine makes.

Yesterday, Sunday, has been the first day for such a long time when we have had no rain and non stop sunshine all day and what a difference it has made to the snowdrops and other flowers in the woodland. The snowdrops open their petals wide and their lovely markings are there for everyone to see. There are lots more  still to open but I thought that I would share with you the ones that I photographed yesterday.

G. Lapwing

This one is G. Lapwing, one bulb bought about 3 yrs ago, so increasing nicely.

G. Magnet

Magnet is recognised by its long pedicel, the thin green part that holds the flower, and yes, I must certainly spread these around, they are increasing so well.

Galanthus Trumps

Sorry, not quite in focus, I must have taken about a dozen and this is the best, the camera just didn’t want to focus!  G.Trumps has very strong distinguishing marks on the outer petals.

Galanthus Trumps

A better photo of Trumps from above.

G. Wendy's Gold

Yes, I know I said that the flowers were all open in the sunshine, but look what I discovered when looking at G. Wendy’s Gold. With one bulb bought about 4 yrs ago, there are now 5 bulbs, but if you look carefully, each bulb is putting up 2 flowers. Looking at all 3 of my snowdrop books, only Freda Cox’s Guide to Snowdrops which I got for Christmas, mentions that it is a strong bulb which increases well, sometimes putting up 2 scapes (flowers) In previous years it has only had one flower for each bulb, so I think Wendy must be happy!

G Anglesey Abbey

By the front gate, but not increasing, is Anglesey Abbey which is almost all white, with just 2 tiny dots on the inner petals. I think when it has finished flowering, I will move it to the woodland where I think it will be happier.

G. Ellwesii

Galanthus Ellwesii is in the back border, before you cross the bridge into the woodland, this is just starting to increase after a few years of just sitting there!


I only have a few of special double snowdrops as most of them seem the same to me, this is G Cordelia, one of the Greatorex doubles.

G. Anglesey Abbey

Lady Beatrice Stanley is another double, but she is very different with the markings on the inner petals reduced to two spots.

G. Hippolyta

Another Greatorex double is Hippolyta.

G. Modern Art

With long drooping outer petals is G. Modern Art which is on the small hill at the end of the woodland.

G. Angelique

G. Angelique is on the rockery at the side of the house, unfortunately the markings are not showing well on this photo, there is just a very thin green arch on the inner petals, this has increased nicely over the last few years.

G. St. Annes

I forgot to photograph this one, St. Annes, yesterday, and of course with it being cloudy and cold today, she didn’t want to open up for me. This is a tiny, delicate looking  snowdrop, but she is increasing well. This one is about the same size as the single wild snowdrop but has much more interesting marks on the inner petals.


When showing G gracilis before, I have concentrated on the twisted leaves, but now, having opened up in the sunshine, we can see the lovely markings on the inner petals.

Leucojum, Spring Snowflake

Looking like a Tiffany lampshade is Leucojum vernum, the spring snowflake. I think I also need to move this one to the woodland because we usually have more than one flower, I don’t think it’s happy!

Another couple of weeks and I should have some different snowdrops to share with you, more are opening each day and make a trip to the woodland essential for me.

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40 Responses to What a difference sunshine makes.

  1. Julie says:

    What a lot of beautiful varieties of snowdrops you have – I have plenty coming into flower that I inherited with this garden, but I don’t think there is anything unusual there. I have just bought Freda Cox’s book so I am hoping to be able to identify some of them. Your photos are very helpful and I am looking forward to seeing more later in the month.

    • Pauline says:

      Hi Julie, lovely to hear from you. How thrilling to find snowdrops coming up in your new garden, you will have fun identifying them and I’m sure Freda Cox’s book will be a great help. Each day new ones open up, it makes going to the woodland area to see what has opened each day essential!

  2. Cathy says:

    Oh Pauline, how lovely to see these – and isn’t it hard to get decent photos, partly because of their whiteness? You have indeed been able to show the different markings on yours – and how intriguing about Wendy’s Gold! Mine is still settling down after being disturbed a couple of years ago when I sold a couple of bulbs – I regret doing that now, but had just paid ‘too much’ for a snowdrop myself and decided to recoup some of the cost! Shan’t do either of those again…. Glad you too had a lovely day on Sunday 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      Cathy, it is so difficult to get decent photos, not wanting to get down on my knees as I know I’ll never be able to get up! I was amazed to see so many flower buds on Wendy’s Gold, it was such a lovely surprise. The sunshine yesterday was really welcome, a day without rain was wonderful!

  3. Frank says:

    Even without getting down on your knees you’ve captured some beautiful pictures! Wendy’s Gold does look like it’s happy where it’s at, I’m looking forward to seeing it in full bloom. You have such an interesting variety of snowdrops, and I really like the larger clumps such as your Magnet.
    I was able to do a stroll around the yard yesterday since most of the snow melted over the weekend. A few galanthus are sprouting, but the cold snap we went through here seems to have killed off a some of the earlier risers. Such is the gardener’s lot!
    I can’t wait to see more of yours opening, and all the other goodies of spring 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you Frank! I too like the larger clumps of snowdrops, I’m hoping that one day they will all be like that.
      You have certainly had a lot of cold weather where you are, we have been watching it on our news, hopefully warmer weather will be with you soon.

  4. Helle (Helen) says:

    It’s amazing, isn’t it, that the same genus (I hope that’s correct) can have so many different varieties – they are all very pretty, my favourite would be the G. Lapwing, but then, I’m a bird nut ;-))

    • Pauline says:

      Hi Helle, lovely to hear from you. I think a lot of the snowdrops with different markings are accidents of nature, species that would be miles apart in the wild come together in a garden and the bees do the rest! I too think G.Lapwing is rather special, which reminds me that I haven’t seen Lapwings for such a long time now, they don’t seem to be as many these days, we used to see a lot when we lived in the north west.

  5. Liz says:

    Hi Pauline,

    Lovely snowdrops, I’m still managing to resist the temptation to buy some of the different types. However it’s interesting even seeing on ‘nivalis’ the differences. For example I have some whose green roundish bit where it meets the bloom are almost yellowy. Then of course there are my weird ones with the little green stripes on the outer tepals – which have produced more this year. There will always be some element of natural variation in everything and it’s interesting to see!

    • Pauline says:

      It sounds Liz, as if you don’t need to buy any special ones as you have your own wonderful selection. I believe that most of the specials that we buy have started off in someones garden as a variation of what is already there. They then have to be reproduced and the variation proved to be stable for a number of years. I like the sound of yours that has green stripes on the outside, very different!

  6. Rachel says:

    Hi Pauline
    I have only just found your blog and I’m very much enjoying your photos of your snowdrops. Here in my Birmingham garden snowdrops grow very well and I have large drifts of G. nivalis which are still in tight bud. I have only recently started to collect a few specials. “James Backhouse” is doing well for me and is already flowering which is early this year. I am eagerly looking for snowdrop gardens locally which I can visit and buy more specimens!

    • Pauline says:

      Hi Rachel, lovely to hear from you. So glad your snowdrops are doing well, large drifts of G. nivalis are a wonderful sight and take some beating. The snowdrops here seem to be earlier than last year, it must be all the mild weather we’ve been having lately. We have a few snowdrop gardens here in Devon that I hopefully will be visiting, depends if the rain stops!

  7. Anna says:

    Oh I did so enjoy seeing your snowdrops Pauline 🙂 There are some familiar faces there. ‘Lapwing’ has such distinctive markings and is one of my favourites along with ‘Lady Beatrix Stanley’. ‘Trumps’ was new to me last year as a dormant bulb but has not flowered 🙁 One of the advantages of growing them in pots is that they are easier to photograph but even then it can still be a challenge to get them in focus. I’ve noticed that Ness Gardens are running a snowdrop and winter photography course this month and was tempted but then wondered whether I would last a day on my knees. Most excited as I had an email this afternoon from Avon Bulbs to say that the snowdrops I ordered last month should be here tomorrow!

    • Pauline says:

      Anna, it would be wonderful to go to a snowdrop and winter photography course at Ness Gardens, we used to live not very far from there before we moved down here, maybe they could tell me how to focus properly! I too ordered from Avon Bulbs but mine aren’t on the way yet, soon I hope.

  8. Pauline, I can almost feel your excitement, positiviely fizzing throught your writing, I feel as if I was watching as you wandered round your garden capturing your precious snowdrops! I fear I must be getting infected, it almost makes sense to me, this collection of different varieties, maybe something to explore once I have a garden rather than a list of jobs!

    • Pauline says:

      It is exciting Janet seeing new snowdrops opening each day, worth going for a little walk. Once you get hooked, beware, there is no going back! Each year they get better and better as the clumps grow from one small bulb of each variety. You will soon have a lovely garden, we can all see the improvements already.

  9. Cathy says:

    So many different ones – wonderful! 😀 You can really see the variety of marks and shapes in your photos – love the close-up of St Annes.

    • Pauline says:

      So many snowdrops look similar Cathy, so if I’m ordering more then I try to find ones that have different markings from the ones that I already have. G. St. Annes is so dainty compared to a lot which are larger than G. nivalis, it looks so tiny and delicate but is increasing nicely, obviously tougher than she looks!

  10. Wow, your area is much further along with spring than here in Texas. Thanks for the preview of things to come. Blessings, Natalie 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      Natalie, we have had a very mild winter so far,the snowdrops are ahead of last year by a couple of weeks. Usually our worst weather comes in February so we will just have to wait and see what happens in the next few weeks.

  11. pbmgarden says:

    I’ve become enamored of snowdrops from seeing your many varieties. It’s easy to see how one can become so passionate about them. Glad you had some sunshine Pauline.

    • Pauline says:

      Susie, snowdrops are such a lovely little flowers for this time of year when hardly anything else is flowering. If they flowered in the summer, I don’t think people would be so excited by them! The sunshine didn’t last unfortunately, just one day, then it was back to rain.

  12. Christina says:

    Your snowdrops must be happy they are increasing so well. They obviously like their woodland setting.

    • Pauline says:

      Yes Christina, I think they do like the woodland, it must be the soil. Others that I have planted elsewhere in the garden aren’t doing as well so I think I must move them to join the others.

  13. Wendy says:

    I loved this look at these different varieties of snowdrops. I shall keep your lovely post in mind when I come to plant more here. I look forward to seeing those yet to bloom!

    • Pauline says:

      I’m finding Wendy, that I like the ones that increase well to make large clumps, single ones look a bit sorry for themselves! Old tried and tested ones are a good bet when increasing your number of varieties, in spite of saying that, like anyone else I am sometimes tempted by new ones!

  14. I love to see passion “blooming” (so to speak) in any aspect of our lives. Who would have imagined there would be three books on a so called “minor” bulb? But this gorgeous post speaks volumes in thinking of them as a major tribute to the wonderful majesty of creation. With this sheerly beautiful imagery, keep up your passion and this great work, Pauline.

    • Pauline says:

      I know Patrick, who needs three books about snowdrops?! Such a tiny little bulb but there are so many enthusiasts out there, and as soon as the books are published, more new snowdrops are found.Our snowdrops keep us going through the long dark days of winter, they don’t mind what the weather throws at them and when they flower, we all think that spring can’t be far away.

  15. catmint says:

    dear Pauline,
    Inuits are said to recognize lots of different types of snow, and you are impressively able to recognize lots and lots of different types of snowdrops! You are truly a snowdrop afficionado, and I wish you lots more sunshine – I wish we could send a bit of ours, we could do with a bit less just now …

    • Pauline says:

      Oh Catmint, if only you could send us your sunshine, it is just one storm after another coming across the Atlantic. There is serious flooding here in the UK, not with us fortunately, but the wind and rain last night and this morning is dreadful. My snowdrops will be ok, they can take any weather that is thrown at them but I’m not sure if the Hellebores can stand up to this wind.

  16. Annette says:

    Well, you’ve quite a collection and looking at all these beauties I can understand why! Lapwing is beautiful, the name alone…then I also like Anglesey Abbey and Angélique. Here, I’m still waiting for some to flower and others I had to protect from the greed of the blackbirds!

    • Pauline says:

      Poor snowdrops, being attacked by blackbirds! I can’t say I’ve had this problem in spite of having 2 or 3 blackbirds always turning the leaf litter over in the borders and the woodland, maybe they find plenty of other things to eat, I hope so. There are still lots more waiting to flower when their turn comes, so we should have flowers for another couple of months.

  17. Peter/Outlaw says:

    How beautiful is your wide variety of snowdrops! I’ve large drifts of a single small old variety Inherited with the garden and probably planted seventy or more years ago. Your images make me want to add some of the lovely varieties you show!

    • Pauline says:

      Peter, large drifts of the old wild one are so spectacular, we go garden visiting to see them where they have thousands in drifts under ancient trees. We have quite a few wild ones, which I split every few years to increase them, they are planted under my trees and deciduous shrubs. The “special” ones that I have are near to a path in the little strip of woodland that we have, so I can get near to examine them without treading on the soil. Once you start collecting the hybrids, you will be hooked for ever!

  18. Angie says:

    What a wonderful collection Pauline – and you have more….how many snowdrops does a girl need 😉 lol!
    I’m off to the SRGC early bulb show a week on Saturday, I think it’s time I invested in a couple of named varieties, I just hope some are available.

    • Pauline says:

      My secret passion Angie!! How wonderful to go to a bulb show, I’m sure you’ll find 1 or 2 or maybe 3 snowdrops that take your fancy, do let us know what you find!

  19. Snowdrops are rare here (we are at the cusp of their viability) but I saw many beautiful ones on Monday in the garden of horticulturist John Elsley, who is testing some new and old selections. My favorite was Magnet, one of the earliest. I believe it is among the easiest to grow and I plan to give it a try if I can remember to place the order in autumn. I like your Lady Beatrice Stanley too. Such cute little dots…reminds me of a lace petticoat.

    • Pauline says:

      Magnet is a lovely snowdrop Marian, we have it here, it was one of my first ones and still remains one of my favourites. I have to be strong with myself, I say that I really don’t need any more, but always fail when the catalogues arrive!

  20. Sorry I haven’t been here in a while and am just catching up. Lovely snowdrops and some of my favorites. I still don’t understand the attraction of ‘Modern Art’. Maybe you will show more photos.

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