I have largely avoided being drawn into snowdrop mania this year. I have no snowdrops in my garden (which is a pity and ought to be rectified) and have had precious little opportunity to get out and admire others’. Even at the RHS Spring Plant Fair last week I bypassed snowdrops in order to reach plants more suited to my garden and my budget. But, as they say, the best things in life are free. On the way to the station at Tisbury in Wiltshire yesterday we traversed a deeply sunken lane between the villages of Semley and Newtown. Here, approaching a sturdy stone bridge, we discovered enough snowdrops to satisfy the most ardent snowdrop enthusiast.
Cascading down steep banks, the common snowdrop, Galanthus nivalis, mingled with the double kind, Galanthus nivalis f. pleniflorus ‘Flore Pleno’. I have witnessed this spectacle before, but never on such a fine day, or when I’ve had an opportunity to stop and admire it. The car duly parked, I walked up the stretch of lane between the entrances to Hatch House and Pythouse, enjoying warm sunshine on my cold face. The snowdrops bounced and played in a stiff breeze, their tiny blooms just past their peak but still lovely to behold.
I was asked why snowdrops might have colonised these banks so prolifically. I can only imagine it’s because they’re undisturbed, watered by rain coming down from higher ground, yet still well-drained. Later in spring and summer the bulbs will be shaded by the canopies of surrounding oak trees, and passing wildlife will help to shake free the snowdrop seeds, enabling them to form large carpets relatively quickly. I shall return to this spot again in June, when I hope to visit Pythouse Kitchen Garden, which provides flowers and produce for a popular restaurant on the same site.
Here are there primroses had begun to flower and wild garlic leaves pushed up through leaf litter. These harbingers of spring are in for a shock next week as the Beast from the East progresses across the country. It’s arrived in Broadstairs already, ripping frozen, desiccated leaves from my poor, tender plants and racing through every nook and cranny on the east side of The Watch House. Even with the heating on full blast I need a couple of jumpers to stay warm whilst not moving about. On the west side of the house you would only feel the beast’s bite by straying outside unprotected.
I write this post surrounded by plants which would normally be safe enough in an unheated greenhouse. None will appreciate the conditions if the temperature falls to -4ºC as predicted, and snow falls. I’ve brought as many plants as I can into the relative warmth of the garden room. I’m reminded that aeoniums smell rather delicious when they are warm. Tomorrow will be for lighting a fire and reading books.
Wishing you all a splendid weekend. TFG.
Photographs taken using iPhone X
Categories: Bulbs, Flowers, Musings, Photography, Walks, Wild Flowers
23 comments On "The Best Things in Life are Free"
Beautiful, beautiful pictures. Gorgeous blue sky! And what a wonderful oak tree. I don’t think I’ve ever seen quite so many snowdrops clinging to a bank.
They were lovely, and evidently very happy. Made my day. Dan
As I visited in June I never realised these bulbs were naturalised along the Lane. I stayed at the lovely Pythouse barn nearby two years ago!
I bet that was lovely Anne. It’s such a nice area, and blessed with a rude number of excellent gastropubs. I always come back half a stone heavier!
I feel less guilty about snuggling down indoors knowing that even you are sheltering from the East wind. June
Goodness yes, it’s horrendous. My house has more holes in it than a sieve!! It’s freezing.
Heaven … absolute heaven! So glad I’ve found you. I miss not having a proper garden and seeing these pictures makes me very nostalgic 🌼🌼
That’s a shame, I hope you have a garden again someday. I’m glad you found me too 💖
Those things are STILL going?! Do they really bloom for that long, or does it just seem like that because people are writing about them in different regions?
Well, maybe the latter, maybe not. The cold weather does prolong the season, and there are varieties that start flowering in autumn and those that come quite late. Snowdrops are something of an obsession because there isn’t a lot else going on in the garden in winter!
Yes, someone explained that. We have so much that blooms through winter that snowdrops probably would not be all that interesting. I do happen to like the leucojums now that I know what they are, especially since they are white. In fact, I will probably take better care of them now. They are my first snowdrops. Perhaps I will get the real galanthus someday.
Stunning photographs F.G. Really made my day. Beautiful.
That’s kind, thank you Kate! Amazing what you can achieve on an iPhone.
Beautiful photographs! That’s not too far from me….lovely. Xx
What a wonderful discovery! And those old oaks against the beautiful blue sky are magical.
Gorgeous images, make me happy looking at those. You are blessed to have green fingers and living with nature. Enjoy your weekend!
I don’t always have the time to read all your posts, but have read this one twice ! Great pics, thankyou
Lovely post and beautiful photos. Thank you.
Much appreciated Carol.
Thank you Dan for such lovely photos of my favourite pre-spring flowers. The reason I’ve always loved them so is because I know it won’t then be much longer before the balmy days arrive! Hope you had a relaxing Sunday in your beautiful library!
I did thank you Kathleen. Ever since the weekend it’s been subzero. The balmy days seem a very long way off right now.