February is the pinnacle of the Snowdrop season in the UK. Galanthophiles, (collectors of Snowdrops), are busy adding new cultivars to their collections, of which there are now more than 2000 to choose from!
Our guest blogger David Rowlinson runs Cornovium Snowdrops, a family business based in Shropshire, to feed his passion for this pretty little plant. Each year, he adds to his collection, and he has now amassed over 300 varieties – all grown free range out in his garden in sandy acidic soil. Here on Mr Plant Geek, David shares six of his favourite varieties:
1. S. Arnott
Firstly, Galanthus ‘S. Arnott’ should be in every garden that grows Snowdrops. It is a tall sterile hybrid, that quickly multiples to give a wonderful display. A bonus is the wonderful scent that it has, especially when the sun is shining and warming the air. It is also perfect for picking and enjoying in the house.
2. Primrose Warburg
The best of the yellows in my opinion is Galanthus ‘Primrose Warburg’, which is named after the late galanthophile who’s garden it was found in. This a truly stunning hybrid that quickly multiples to give a good display. Pick a spot in the garden where the winter sun will make her glow!
3. White Swan
Galanthus ‘White Swan’ is a tall, stately double, that quickly creates a nice clump. This old cultivar came from the Greatorex garden in Norfolk, where the Snowdrops famously named after Shakespearian ladies originated. This was the first special Snowdrop that I ever bought in the early 2000s; from this one bulb I now have over a thousand in the garden!
4. Green Tear
My favourite of the green coloured or virescent Snowdrops must be Galanthus ‘Green Tear’. It is an early flowering, tall and robust cultivar that stands out in the garden.
However, it still maintains a high price when offered for sale, so if you are looking for a more affordable green Snowdrop, Galanthus nivalis ‘Greenish’ is a good place to start. This pretty little bulb is a late flowering Snowdrop, which is short in stature but quickly produces a nice display.
5. Mr Blobby
If you like to have some fun in your garden, some of the varieties available have interesting names. The one that has had the most attention for me this year is Galanthus elwesii ‘Mr Blobby’. Named and found by the Galanthus expert Joe Sharman, it is a substantial Snowdrop with big blowsy flowers, which sometimes have four petals instead of the usual three.
Lastly, my favourite of the green-tipped Snowdrops has to be Galanthus ‘Trumps’. This sterile hybrid is incredibly vigorous and has the most wonderfully marked flowers. It’s because of these points that this Snowdrop should be in everybody’s collection.