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Early Snowdrops by Peter Milligan

For many people one of the well known and loved flowers of spring is the snowdrop. Frequently literary texts will refer to the snowdrop as “the harbinger of spring” and this – inevitably – conjures up an image of small white flowers nodding in the spring breeze.

However, there are many snowdrops that will flower from October onwards, e.g., Galanthus reginae-olgae ‘Ruby’s Green Dream’ that featured on the front of the autumn issue of The Journal was is flower with us from mid-October.
Amongst the snowdrops in flower in our garden now are several beautiful cultivars including G. elwesii var. monostictus ‘Remember Remember’ (named, we believe, after the old rhyme “Remember remember the fifth of November, gunpowder, treason, and plot, etc.”) which will flower at the start of November.

G. elwesii ‘Rainbow Farm Early’ (originating from Rainbow Farm Snowdrops) is in flower as I write and G. plicatus subsp. plicatus ‘Three Ships’ (“I saw three ships on Christmas Day, etc.”) and G. elwesii ‘Santa Claus’ will be in flower in early to mid-December.

All of these, and many other early flowering snowdrops, are well worth pursuing and adding to your garden – they may be a little harder to find and cost more that the simple, but beautiful, G. nivalis but they will add interest to the late autumn and winter garden.

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