Four Kent Group snowdrop enthusiasts set off westwards for the Shaftesbury Snowdrop Festival Study, Sale and Social Day on Saturday 10 February. Now it would be foolish to travel all that way just for one event and not look for somewhere interesting to visit ‘on the way’, wouldn’t it? For me that somewhere was Lyn Miles garden in Boscombe Village, Wiltshire. She is Membership Secretary and Newsletter Editor of the HPS Galanthus Group and has many snowdrop varieties growing in her ‘wilderness’ garden. She gave me a very warm welcome, told me about a few of her snowdrops and then left me to wander.
Of course, Lyn grows many other plants and I noticed shrubs such as cornus and rubus adding colour and structure to the winter garden. It was a real treat to see a box left to grow naturally rather than being topiarized as we tend to do now.
She is justifiably proud of a lovely clump of Galanthus ‘Pat Mason’, which has green tips to its large flowers. Snowdrops with this characteristic are becoming very popular as more are being developed. ‘Pat Mason’ also has the most amazing leaves which are grey-green in colour, wide and strongly incurved.
I found another yellow one, this time with a yellow ovary and probably yellow marks on the inner segments when the flower opens. Like the snowdrops with green tips, yellow ones are becoming sought after as more are bred or discovered by sharp-eyed enthusiasts.
There were more hellebores, including a yellow one, and crocuses opening their flowers but I noticed one last snowdrop as I was leaving and that turned out to be my favourite – another that is very well named, Galanthus ‘White Wings’.