Whilst we are still in the midst of Winter, the first signs that Spring is just round the corner comes from the Snowdrops which are beginning to put on a show. I have a number of named varieties which flower ahead of the normal Galanthus nivalis. Above is Galanthus ‘Ding Dong’, named by Avon Bulbs as a nod to the marketing jingle of the Cosmetic company Avon..
Next to it is Galanthus ‘Selborne Green Tips’ which is looking at little nibbled, probably because it grows under the bird feeders and the local pigeons seem to try to eat anything, a bit like avian goats. I am toying with lifting these clumps now once the flowers have finished, splitting them and planting them in an additional location to protect against losing them.
Galanthus ‘Mrs McNamara’ is the star of the snowdrops at the moment. She started flowering at Christmas and being a larger flower really stands out. I’m not that clued in to identifying snowdrops but if you look at the photo below you can see how much bigger Mrs McNamara is compared to another unknown snowdrop
This is a close up of the unknown snowdrop which I am sure is a named variety due to its location in the garden but all the labels have gone, even those I put in last year. I am going to have to relabel and I think I might need to make some notes or draw a plan as not knowing the snowdrops names is an annual event now. I think I will also look back through my posts and make a list of the snowdrops I know I have and see if I can identify the unknown ones from that.
Every year I add one or two new Galanthus (with labels honest). This year’s new acquisition, so far, is Galanthus ‘Godfrey Owen’. As you can see it is a large snowdrop and quite distinctive from the six outer petals all being the same size. Galanthus ‘Diggory’ is also on my wish list as it has quite distinctive texture to its petals.
So this is the seventh year I have counted the number of plants in flower on Boxing Day. It’s an interesting exercise and makes you really look at the garden to spot any flowers. This year the snowdrops seem to be ahead of themselves. Galanthus Mrs McNamara (above) is already in flower, with Galanthus Ding Dong and Galanthusplicatus ‘Colossus’ coming up quickly behind.
There are two Viburnums in flower; the Viburnum tinus ‘Eve Price’ and the Viburnum rhytidophyllum
Other shrubs in flower which I overlooked photographing are:
and this Abutilon, whose name I have forgotten (as usual).
The first hellebore is in flower, last year they were only just in bud.
Conversely there is only one primrose in flower, where as last year there were numerous primroses and primulas in flower.
Another small delight is this little cyclamen, a new addition under a shrub. I choose the white flowers over pink ones as I wanted something to lighten the spot.
Finally, is the delightful pot of violets which lives on the patio table. They have been flowering for weeks, only closing their petals when it snowed.
In total there is one more plant in flower this year, 13, to last year which remains low compared to 2015 when there were 35 plants in flower. I suspect some of this might be because of my leanings more towards foliage plants other flowers.
Finally the first snowdrops are flowering so I thought I would feature some in this week’s Monday vase, plus it means I get to enjoy them in the evening when I get home from work rather than only at weekends.
There are three varieties in the vase. The two small ones at the front with the more yellow ovaries are Galanthus ‘Ding Dong’ which although it has been in flower for a good week is still late as it normally flowers around Christmas, hence the name. The two to the right of the photo and central are Galanthus ‘Mrs McNamara’, another early which again has been flowering for a few weeks. This is one of the Galanthus whose name has eluded me until I spent some time tracking back through the blog and plant labels. On my to do list this month is to make sure any special snowdrops without labels are indeed labelled. The last snowdrop at the back on the left is Galanthus ‘Galatea’ which has an arching pedicel, thats the thin bit that connects the flower to the stem. You can see that it’s flowers and Mrs McNamara are larger than Ding Dong.
The vase has been on this meme before, a flea market find, and the backdrop is a pashmina I have had for years. For someone who doesn’t really wear scarves or pashmina I seem to have quite a few!