Snowdrop Week: Digging Diggory

Those folk who’d sell their souls for a rare snowdrop have two things in common – a willingness to open their wallet for a small, vulnerable bulb that flowers only briefly once a year, and an eye for detail. I mock not, for man has succumbed to uglier addictions, but one can understand why the uninitiated struggle to fathom galanthophiles’ fascination with these simple flowers.

When a collection of snowdrops is viewed together the differences between them become more apparent. One of the most distinctive cultivars, instantly recognisable once you have seen it once, is Galanthus ‘Diggory’. In bud it looks pretty ordinary, but once open the flowers puff out like a partially inflated balloons, the outer petals ridged and puckered like seersucker pillows. They attract me in the same way as the fuchsia buds I loved to pop as a child.

Galanthus 'Diggory' (snowdrop), Chelsea Physic Garden, February 2015

Galanthus ‘Diggory’ was discovered in a garden near Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk by Rosie Steele and Richard Hobbs and was named after Rosie’s late son. One of the parents is thought to be G. plicatus, which makes it a vigorous plant, although slow to increase. If you are digging Diggory, bulbs ‘in the green’, priced at £25, are available now from Avon Bulbs. Resistance is futile.

Galanthus 'Diggory' (snowdrop), Chelsea Physic Garden, February 2015