Snowdropping

While hunting around for a suitable title for this post I came across this word. It sounded an apt description for a day spent looking at snowdrops, but alas it turns out it is Australian slang for stealing clothing, often women’s and often off a washing line! No, not apt at all, but do you think if enough of us use it then we could assign a new meaning to the word, as I rather like it.

When I shut my eyes that night all I could see were those little white things. On 19th Feb, I had been to visit to Bruckhills Croft, about an hour’s drive north west of Aberdeen and had obviously spent too long admiring and trying to photograph the wonderful collection of 280 named snowdrops.

My friend and I had a lovely day out; the day was bright, the traffic light and the country roads took us through wonderful rolling, open fields all neatly ploughed ready for the next season’s planting.

Ploughed fields

Ploughed fields

We arrived at Bruckhills Croft, with only a little hitch, having sailed right past the bright yellow sign, and were met by Helen, who was very welcoming and showed us where to find all the snowdrops. 

Bruckhills croft, Inverurie

Bruckhills Croft, Inverurie

This was my first real introduction to the world of snowdrops. I have always loved them, but had never before realised what variety these little plants can show.  They are not the easiest of plants to photograph as they are so white and get swayed quite easily by the wind, but I hope some of my photos do them justice.

I assumed this snowdrop ‘Hippolyta’ was named because of its hippo like green marking, but on further research discovered that this double snowdrop was in fact named after a subdued Amazon queen from Shakespear’s  ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. You just never know do you?

Galanthus nivalis 'Hippoyta'

Galanthus nivalis ‘Hippoyta’

This next snowdrop is a cultivar of Atkinsii and is distinguished by the fact that it sometimes produces flowers with an extra petal. Fascinating! Doesn’t it look lovely against the dark foliage of the Ajuga?

Galanthus 'James Backhouse'

Galanthus ‘James Backhouse’

This Galanthus plicatus ‘Trym’ is very fertile and passes on its characteristics to its offspring in different ways.  Doesn’t it have lovely markings?

Galanthus plicatus 'Trym'

Galanthus plicatus ‘Trym’

I loved the unopened shape of this double, Galanthus ‘Lavinia’, assumed to be named after the mother of A.H. Greatorex, Mariane Lavinia, back in 1948.

Galanthus 'Lavinia'

Galanthus ‘Lavinia’

‘Lady Elphinstone’, discovered in Cheshire in 1890, just looks happy to be alive in the spring sunshine.  Unfortunately I missed photographing her lovely yellow skirt!

Galanthus 'Lady Elphinstone'

Galanthus ‘Lady Elphinstone’

I think these next snowdrops are particularly beautiful with their yellow ovaries shining in the sunshine.

Galanthus 'Spindlestone Surprise'

Galanthus ‘Spindlestone Surprise’

Galanthus ‘Lerinda’ was just asking to be photographed from above to best show off her delightful shapes.

Galanthus 'Lerinda'

Galanthus ‘Lerinda’

Many of the snowdrops at Buckhill’s Croft were planted in front of pieces of dark slate to show them off to their best,

Slate and pears show off the snowdrops to their best

Slate and pears show off the snowdrops to their best

While others had a natural foil in the brown remains of the herbaceous border.

Galanthus 'Merlin'

Galanthus ‘Merlin’

Galanthus 'Sprite'

Galanthus ‘Sprite’ (photographed by Chris)

On our way to the greenhouse, behind the house, we found this lovely clump of  Galanthus ‘Wasp’ – a snowdrop I had been on the lookout for.

Galanthus 'Wasp'

Galanthus ‘Wasp’

With its lovely slender petals and stripy inner markings I think this snowdrop is one of my favourites.

There were so many snowdrops growing happily outside, but we couldn’t wait to see what treasures were hidden in the greenhouse.

The one I really wanted to see was Galanthus woronowii ‘Elizabeth Harrison’ – the same one that Thompson and Morgan had paid £725 for in 2012.  Helen had been lucky enough to buy one direct from a grower.

She was beautiful, but I believe is no longer the most valuable bulb as a Galanthus plicatus ‘Golden Fleece’ has just sold on Ebay for £1390.
I hope the purchaser has some serious security on their greenhouse.

Galanthus 'Elisabeth Harrison'

Galanthus ‘Elisabeth Harrison’

There were other lovely snowdrops keeping her company inside:

Galanthus 'Corin'

Galanthus ‘Corin’

Galanthus 'Trumps' - an offspring of 'Trym' apparently.

Galanthus ‘Trumps’ – an offspring of ‘Trym’ apparently.

I love the seersucker petals of this one.

Galanthus 'Emporer Autustus'

Galanthus ‘Emporer Autustus’

But I think this scatty looking snowdrop was another of my favourites.

Galanthus 'Mordred'

Galanthus ‘Mordred’

I bet you are all wondering how many of these lovely snowdrops I managed to come home with?

I was quite restrained, but I did buy a pot containing a couple of ‘Magnet’ snowdrops and , how could I resist, a slightly more expensive pot with my current favourite –  ‘Wasp’.

I am delighted with my purchases and no doubt you will be seeing them feature in my posts as they settle in my garden.

Meanwhile, thanks to Helen, for a wonderful visit to her garden – if you are a Facebook follower you should search on Bruckhill’s Garden’ to find her page and follow her wonderful snowdrop collection.

And if anyone is still reading that doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about here is a little something for you – my first glimpse of a wild primrose this year; I found it flowering nonchalantly at the back of a snowdrop border.

Primrose

Primrose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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21 thoughts on “Snowdropping

  1. Great entertaining post, I was in the group of folk who did not really appreciate Snowdrops but I am beginning to see how enthralling they are. Looks like you had gorgeous weather for your trip and thanks for the primrose photo too, much appreciated!

    • You are welcome! I was the same last year, but this year I am beginning to get hooked. Yes, it was a lovely bright, if cold, spring day so we could appreciate the scenery (and the snowdrops) at their best.

  2. Silly me. I just thought a snowdrop was a snowdrop. And I never knew it had anything with stealing clothing off the line. Isn’t language (and isn’t the human mind that makes it up) bizarre?

  3. A lovely post. Thank you; I think by reading about each other’ s snowdrop trips we learn about more and more interesting and ‘must- have’ ones. Expensive, but great fun. Spindlestone Surprise and Wasp are certainly on my must- have list.

  4. Apparently Snowdrop is the slang in Russia for the dead bodies that are found once all the snow has melted!
    I can recommend G. Wasp, I bought just one bulb 2 years ago and it is increaseing really well. You certainly had a wonderful day out.

    • Oh dear, that is even worse than stealing clothes. I think I have one and a half bulbs already so I should have a couple of flowers next year if it likes where I put it.

  5. Thanks for taking us along on your visit, Annette and seeing some snowdrops I haven’t met before, like the celebrated Elizabeth Harrison. You are on the slippery slope now, as I am sure you realise!

  6. I’ll never look at snowdrops the same after hearing our Australian friend’s meaning of the word! Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures as well as this unknown (to me at least!) fact.

  7. Pingback: Resolve and Realise: March | My Aberdeen Garden

  8. I read this post on my phone at work the other night but was unable to comment. My phone’s fault I think.
    You’ve been bitten too Annette 😉 They are all fascinating aren’t they. I’m not sure if you caught my post on the new ones I added to my collection this year or not. You made a fine choice with the ones you did come home with.
    The term Snowdropping is one I am familiar with – it’s used down here too Annette and meaning the exact same as it does in Oz. When I saw your title it put a smile on my face as I had thought perhaps you’d had a visitor on washing day 🙂

    • I missed your post when it came out, Angie, but have read it now. You did really well with your purchases. I was also really interested to hear that the term ‘Snowdropping’ is one that is used here. I had never heard it before, but then I don’t often hang my washing outside. I will be asking around my friends, now, to see who knows it.

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