in praise of snowdrops
While English blogs remind me that it is already daffodil season down south, here in our part of Scotland the snowdrops are at their height. Every year we have more of them to add to the drifts under the trees, as the gardener does a wonderful job of dividing up clumps and replanting them singly to encourage them to spread.
I love to pick a few on walks and put them in a tiny vase to brighten the kitchen table. Neither the gardener nor I am particularly interested in classifying or collecting different varieties – we just enjoy the general effect – but we do seem to have several different kinds here. Whether they were carefully chosen by a previous gardener, or have hybridised in situ, I don’t know.
There are doubles:
And there are what I can only call triples, with random petals sprouting all over the place:
To my mind, however, there is nothing so beautiful as the simplicity and purity of the single snowdrop, known in Britain since Roman times at least. They were often planted in holy places: I don’t know why for sure, but the Middle Ages adored symbolism, and I would imagine that medieval monks and nuns would see Christian metaphors in the flower’s humility and white purity, and in the trinity of its three outer petals. Symbolism aside, it is just a lovely flower, perfect in itself. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: the snowdrop.
[Anyone with galanthophile (snowdrop afficionado) tendencies can find out a little more about them at a page called Snowdrops – what’s all the fuss? ]
There are more photos of snowdrops in the castle policies at Signs of spring, and for a snowdrop post from last year’s winter, see Unjustified flowers. Or, if you need a reminder of the more colourful offerings of late summer, do have a look at Friday flowers.