Pleasurable Preciouses

IMG_6672Standing at one of the kitchen windows today and looking out on the garden I began to appreciate for the first time what a difference it is making to have the special snowdrops in a raised border. I built the raised wall, three bricks high, on a whim at the tail end of last snowdrop season in anticipation of being better able to view them this way and risking the disruption it would cause to the little preciouses. The losses I have encountered, about 9 out of the 60 or so different varieties that were in situ at the end of the season are unlikely all to be due to the disruption but it is rather galling that about half of those lost were new to me last year. However, I am probably more disappointed to have lost ‘Maidwell L’ and ‘ZP1 which were amongst the first named varieties I ever bought, dating from 2005 and 2006 respectively. Back to today though, I realised for the first time that because there are steps up to the paved area the snowdrop border (under the rose arbour and on the left) and its contents were almost at eye level when I stand at the kitchen window and the snow white bobbing-about blooms are easily seen.

After the early start to the snowdrop season with a few varieties in flower before Christmas their progress has slowed down and seems more typical of the season with some nearly over, some in full bloom and some barely in bud. The longer daylight hours, occasional double digit temperatures and hint of warmth from the sun has helped tightly closed buds to unfurl and a fully open snowdrop flower is indeed a pleasurable sight to behold, as the clump of Galanthus ‘Walrus’ in the last post demonstrated. The little retaining wall makes an ideal place to sit and admire them at the close quarters, from the tall (clockwise from left: Rev Hailstone, Monostictus, Washfield Colesbourne):

tall.snowdropsTo the short (clockwise from left: Lady Elphinstone, Barbara’s Double, Cornwood Gem):

short.snowdropsTo the very white, the chunky and the quirky (Anglesey Abbey, Ophelia and Blewberry Tart):

different.snowdropsAdding additional seasonal interest are the white or green hellebores that also have their home here, all standing tall and proud with their pristine stems uncluttered with last year’s tatty leaves and seemingly taller than those in the woodland edge border. Clockwise from top left: White Spotted Lady, Harvington Double White, Harvington Double Lime, unnamed white from Elder Sister’s garden:


Pleasurable preciouses, every single one of them…

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28 Responses to Pleasurable Preciouses

  1. My favorites are the Harvington Double Lime and White Spotted Lady!

  2. FlowerAlley says:

    That double white hellebore is really nice.

  3. Renee says:

    How fun that you can use the wall you built to really see these treasures up close. I love all the little details you can see in the different snowdrops.

  4. Raised beds with a ledge on which to perch make so much sense to me, especially for appreciating the details of tiny treasures. 🙂

  5. Pauline says:

    How annoying to lose so many of your precious snowdrops, I have lost the odd one here and there and it is very frustrating, especially when they cost so much to start with! Our temperatures have usually been above 10C so most days the flowers have opened up showing their lovely markings. Since having snowdrops and hellebores in the garden, January has become a wonderful month!

    • Cathy says:

      Hopefully now I am tinkering with them less I won’t lose as many… Yes, once we have established snowdrops and hellebores there will always be continuity in our gardens, won’t there?

  6. Your raised bed is perfect for snowdrops. They are magical little plants, but hard to enjoy at toe level.

  7. I envy you your collection of snowdrops. I saw a yellow one advertised. If it is yellow is it still a “snow”drop? It was pretty no matter. You have a nice place to display yours now. Well done. I haven’t cut back the hellebore leaves yet. The temps are supposed to plummet tomorrow and stay down for awhile. I will after that cold spell and hope for the best.

    • Cathy says:

      It is easy to get hooked once you start buying named varieties! There are several with yellow markings or details but you say how have seen an ALL yellow one? Sounds bizarre!

  8. You have the perfect set-up for your collection Cathy, how wonderful to be able to perch on the wall and enjoy them. I adore hellebores, I keep buying more!!

    • Cathy says:

      Hello stranger! Yes, the wall works well for sitting on which is an added bonus – 3 courses of brick and not just 2 makes all the difference! Enjoy your hellebores

  9. Chloris says:

    What a great idea to keep all your precious snowdrop treasures in one place so that you can drool over them. Gorgeous, everyone and lovely hellebores too. They really help us through the winter don’ t they?

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Chloris – originally it was to keep them apart from the ‘commons’ but being nearer the house it has made for easy viewing and checking too

  10. Brian Skeys says:

    Perhaps your missing ones will arrive at a different time following the disturbance, it was worth it though to have the raised beds.

    • Cathy says:

      That was wishful thinking, Brian, but they are all planted in baskets and most of the non-shows have now been lifted and checked…. But yes, worth it – and hopefully with little disturbance the rest will generally progress well

  11. croftgarden says:

    Delighted that you are still in galanophile heaven and displaying the all the usual symptoms. I’m not convinced it’s not contagious as I was anxiously looking for my humble G. nivalis which I’d transplanted into a new bed last spring. The more worrying aspect is that I spotted a pot of something a little more refined in the greenhouse this morning. Could be the firts signs of impending penury! Must admit that Lady Elphinstone has a certain amount of class.

    • Cathy says:

      Well thank you – although there is more than the usual grieving over losses this year… Mmm, I wonder what your ‘refined’ something is…? I could spare you a Lady E if you like as I have a well established clump – she has lovely yellow petticoats when she settles in

  12. Anna says:

    Oh it must be so exciting to see them from inside the house Cathy. You have some beautiful hellebores too. I’ve just emailed you on the subject of preciouses 🙂

  13. Sam says:

    Lovely to be able to see your snowdrops from the window. I have to get into the garden to see mine, so I may follow your lead and transplant some this year. Beautiful selection of snowdrops and hellebores too.

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