Standing 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):
To the short (clockwise from left: Lady Elphinstone, Barbara’s Double, Cornwood Gem):
To the very white, the chunky and the quirky (Anglesey Abbey, Ophelia and Blewberry Tart):
Adding 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…