Many, many welcomes,
Ever as of old time,
Coming in the cold time,
Prophet of the gay time,
Prophet of the May time,
Prophet of the roses,
Many, many welcomes,
The Snowdrop by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Don’t panic! I’m not going to describe them all but I would like to pick out a few for your consideration. Of course, it is a very personal selection, more like a wish list really. and I’ll start with a giant.
A member brought along a lovely pot of Galanthus ‘Hunton Giant’ but apologized because he thought the flowers were rather small due to his poor cultural methods. Luckily Tim Ingram was close by and told us that the plant wasn’t called giant because of the size of the flowers, rather the size of the leaves and its tall stature – the leaves can apparently reach 50cm! A giant indeed! It was found by David Way, one of our founder members, in the village of Hunton, where he and his wife, Anke, lived. Members who grow this cultivar, propagate it and sometimes bring it to plant sales so it should be easily available.
It is described in the books as a first-class garden plant with an unquestionable constitution, admired by everyone. A classic snowdrop that should be in everyone’s collection.
Galanthus ‘Lady Beatrix Stanley’ also caught my eye. She is a double but very delicate because, instead of large dark green marks on the inner segments, she has one very small one that usually splits into a dot on either side of the sinus. The mark can be seen clearly between the narrow outer segments.
Galanthus nivalis ‘Lady Elphinstone’ is a variant of G. n. ‘Flore Pleno’ with yellow marks and, like that plant, is inclined to be rather irregular. It was found by Sir Graeme Elphinstone in the grounds of Heawood Hall, Cheshire in 1890 and named for his daughter. It can revert to green marking when moved but, as Bowles remarked, “after a season or two repays with pure gold.” I like the reference to gold rather than what the member who brought the plant compares it to – scrambled egg! Take your pick!
Not content with the normal three outer segments she sometimes has five, almost perfectly arranged, together with a variable number of inner segments. This behaviour doesn’t detract from her beauty but is somewhat erratic, occuring more in some years than others. This year seems to be a good one for freakishness. The books tell me that she sometimes has two flowers from separate pedicels on the same scape and can also have a second, single-flowered scape or even fused flowers. What an awful lot for one poor plant to contend with! I haven’t noticed this last feature but will take a much closer look next year.
I have saved this one until the end. Take a look.
Wow! was the reaction from members when they saw this amazing flower. Definitely one to look out for.
Below you will find a list of all the snowdrops in the display, which shows what Kent Group members can achieve when they get together. Thank you to everyone who contributed and, just as importantly, everyone who took an interest in the display – I think we all learned a lot.
Galanthus nivalis ‘Lady Elphinstone’
Galanthus nivalis ‘Walrus’
Galanthus nivalis ‘Anglesey Abbey’
Galanthus nivalis ‘Flore Pleno’
Galanthus nivalis ‘Viridapice’
Galanthus elwesii var. elwesii ‘Big Boy’
Galanthus elwesii ‘Comet’
Galanthus elwesii ‘Ransom’s Dwarf’
Galanthus plicatus ‘Augustus’
Galanthus plicatus subsp. plicatus
Galanthus ‘Cicely Hall’
Galanthus ‘Cowhouse Green’
Galanthus ‘E.A. Bowles’
Galanthus ‘Ecusson d’Or’
Galanthus ‘Ginns’ Imperati’
Galanthus ‘Hunton Giant’
Galanthus ‘Ivy Cottage Green Tip’
Galanthus ‘James Backhouse’
Galanthus ‘Lady Beatrix Stanley’
Galanthus ‘Mighty Atom’
Galanthus ‘Mrs. Thompson’
Galanthus ‘Natalie Garton’
Galanthus ‘Primrose Warburg’
Galanthus ‘Robin Hood’
Galanthus ‘S. Arnott’
Galanthus ‘South Hayes’
Galanthus ‘Spindlestone Surprise’
Galanthus ‘Tubby Merlin’