The Welcome Sight of Snowdrops

Snowdrops are always greatly anticipated as they are the first flowers of the year after a long  cold winter. Their graceful nodding white flowers carpet the landscape and look wonderful in any garden setting. They have carefully adapted to pierce through winter snow. Snowdrops originate from Europe and Western Asia and belong in theAmarylliaceae plant family. This small bulb is found in the genus Galanthus which in Latin or Greek translates to‘milk flower’. The flowers are so adored that they have a big following of enthusiasts called Galanthophiles who will pay large sums of money for just a few bulbs to add to their collection. Most Galanthophiles look for new snowdrops in graveyards or old gardens where they may have naturally hybridised. Other enthusiasts have set up breeding programmes to create new variations that do not exist.  You may not have given snowdrops en masse much thought before, but look closely and you will see they have different distinctive features from flower markings, size and stem colour. Today there are hundreds of varieties available to grow. They can be propagated by seed easily but the most effective method of propagation is by division. Once the foliage and flowers begin to die back divide large clumps ‘in the green’ and distribute them around your garden. They can even be planted under trees and do best in humus rich soil that is well drained but doesn’t dry out in summer.  They come up early in the year and are a welcome sight to see. Many public gardens have large displays and organise snowdrop festivals to attend.

Snowdrop Festival Scotland

Painswick Rococo Garden

Cambo Country House and Estate

Colesburne Park




Published by

Kirsty Wilson

Horticulture is my inspiration! I am the Herbaceous Supervisor at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Photographer, Award winning Garden Designer, BBC Beechgrove Garden Television Presenter & BBC Radio 4 GQT Panellist. I want to inspire people to grow plants, connect with nature and have a positive impact on the world.

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