Where to See Snowdrops In Lancashire in 2020

Snowdrops with long outer petals

February is snowdrop month for much of the UK. I’ve gathered a list of places you can see snowdrops this month in my home county, Lancashire, with details of their snowdrop open days. If you’re planning to take close up pictures, go sooner rather than later to catch them at their freshest.

This post was originally published in 2019 and has been updated for 2020. For those who live elsewhere in Britain, I’ve added a link at the bottom for you to research local gardens with good collections of snowdrops.  Continue reading “Where to See Snowdrops In Lancashire in 2020”

January Squares: Snowdrops Glisten

Snowy landscape with snowdrops backlit by the fading sun
Snowdrops glisten under silver birch trees in a snowy winter garden

Interaction between the camera lens and the sun’s rays has sent rainbows tumbling from the top right. I’m not sure if that’s a feature or a flaw… perhaps a bit of both.

Pockets of snowdrops are barely distinguishable from the snow at first glance but, once your eye tunes in, they seem illuminated like tiny, ankle-high lamps. Long, narrow tree shadows accentuate the ray effect while the shade and golden rays together capture that feeling of warmth and exposure we Northerners associate with winter… the lucky ones, that is, who have the means of keeping warm. Continue reading “January Squares: Snowdrops Glisten”

Heyrick Greatorex: The Founding Father Of Snowdrop Breeders

Short, stocky double snowdrops in pink heather
Common Galanthus nivalis doubles growing in heather with a taller snowdrop to the right

Heyrick Greatorex, our first known snowdrop breeder, was responsible for a series of hybrids known as the Greatorex doubles. Unlike the common, bee-made, short, dumpling-style nivalis doubles, Greatorex’s doubles dangle large, skirted flowers from tall scapes. Introduced during the 1940s and 50s (Heyrick Greatorex died in 1954), their vigour has carried most of them through to today… or so we think!

Comments online suggest that Heyrick Greatorex was ‘an ordinary, untrained home gardener’, but whether you’ll accept that depends how you define ‘ordinary’. Continue reading “Heyrick Greatorex: The Founding Father Of Snowdrop Breeders”

Snowdrop-aholics in the news

Close up of snowdrops with many others behind them
Snowdrops look alluring in a mass planting

Snowdrops are so hyped up this year that the clickbait on the BBC News website’s most viewed article on Saturday morning was Are you suffering from galanthomania?. Anything that sounds like an ailment evidently has the whole of Britain (minus those aware that a galanthus is a snowdrop) clicking away to find out if they have the symptoms. Well, it is winter.

I have recorded my personal pangs here, but wouldn’t go so far as to call it a mania. Muddy knees, sometimes; mania, nope.

Snowdrops with large bergenia leaves in a winter garden
Red branches and bergenia leaves make a lovely backdrop for snowdrops

But I won’t try to deny that snowdrops cast spells on us.  Continue reading “Snowdrop-aholics in the news”

Nature’s Subtleties: Double Snowdrops

I rarely resist bending down to look inside a double snowdrop. Like most aspects of gardening, it’s hard on the knees, but uplifting to the soul.

The hurried passerby thinks all snowdrops are the same. It’s only by sparing those few extra moments to look closer that we start to appreciate nature’s subtleties.