I know it’s not going to be long till they’re here. I’ve seen the advanced guard, including some in Manchester City Centre yesterday, scattered in amongst the earliest crocuses. Their white tips were still sheathed in greenery, but I’d know them anywhere.
Down south, I don’t mind betting that the snowdrops have long been out, assuming you count a week or so as ‘long’ (any flower stalker worth his or her salt knows that a week can make a big difference when it comes to catching flowers in their prime).
Still, I confess to being impatient. I’ve seen the odd clump in flower at Bodnant Gardens and Harlow Carr a couple of weeks ago, but everyone knows that snowdrops are best in huge swathes, carpeting the landscape.
I know some of my most loyal readers will sigh and tolerantly remind me that I’m one of the lucky ones – their bulbs will be buried under mounds of snow for longer than they care to remember. Snowdrops might not even grow where they’re from.
So to fill any snowdrop dearth you may be experiencing – be it brief, more lengthy or permanent – here are my earlier posts on visits to some of England’s finest snowdrop gardens: Rode Hall, Painswick Rococo Garden, and Colesbourne Park.
If you’ve been wondering, the snowdrop in the picture is one of my favourites, Galanthus ‘John Gray’. A gardener at Rode Hall once took the time to show me how, by gently opening the outer petals, you can reveal green markings in the shape of a fish. I’m passing his message along.
Please feel free to add a link to your favourite snowdrop posts in the comments below. I’m keen to enjoy snowdrops any way I can until the real ones come along.