Monday, February 20, 2006

Snowdrops





I have Snowdrops in various places in my yard. Some in flower beds, some that have escaped into the lawn, coming up in places where I know they did not grow last year. And I am always happy to see them in the winter, but being cold, I'm usually admiring them from a window or while filling up the birdfeeders. It isn't quite like the supring or summer garden where you are intimately familiar with certain plants because you are on your knees weeding around them. No, I've never really noticed how beautiful Snowdrops are. I have taken this harbinger of spring for granted and I regret it. Last fall, when I was planting a climbing hydrangea, I dug up a clump of Snowdrops. Not having a place in mind to move them I threw them in a pot and put them in the garage. A few weeks ago, I noticed that they were starting to emerge, so I brought them inside and put them on my kitchen windowsill. And now each day I am thrilled to see their progress. How cleanly the white flowers are encased in their clear covering as they emerge from the bulb, until they are ready to bloom. The blooms hang delicately down from their leafless stalks like little bells. And have you ever looked really closely at the inside of a snowdrop? I hadn't before, but I'm glad I have now. They have these delicate little green markings on their undersides. The common Snowdrop is known as Galanthus nivalis which means "milk-white flowers". There are more than 75 different species of Snowdrop, and a diehard collector of Snowdrops is known as a Galanthophile. Apparently, Snowdrops are quite popoular in the UK and there are lots of collectors and clubs. So next time you're out in the yard, snip off a few of these seemingly non-descript blooms and bring them inside. Put on a windowsill in a little glass bottle, they will add surpising beauty to these last few weeks of winter.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Liz said...

I love Snowdrops... you're right to get close to them because they really are so pretty. My grandfather liked them so much, we planted them on his grave (does that sound morbid? I didn't mean it to). They are one of my favorite bulbs, another being wild or species tulips.

3:25 PM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

No, that isn't morbid. That's lovely. Did he like them because of what they look like or that they are the first to bloom?

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Liz said...

I think both, really.

3:04 PM  
Anonymous Judith said...

I get pleasantly lost looking closely at the inside of Snowdrops or any flower--it is its own world & is exquisite. I think I like Snowdrops more than the Crocus, but if Crocus are around, I'll appreciate them too. How wonderful yours have spread in your yard!

12:14 PM  
Anonymous Marco said...

I love snowdrops, maybe because i hate winter, frost and snow.

6:04 PM  

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