Monday 14 February 2011

Flowering: Galanthus Bagpuize Virginia

I must confess a slight galanthophile tendency. I'm not sure if it's because snowdrops are the first flowers of the year after a long cold winter, or the fact there are so many and they are so delicate and beautiful to look at, yet tough as old nails and can survive any weather thrown at them. Ahh, perhaps all three.

I love seeing new ones that I haven't seen before. Each one more exquisite than the last, each one a 'must have'. However, I don't have the budget for being a true galanthophile and have to pass at £75 for a single bulb.

A favourite snowdrop place to visit is Kingston Bagpuize gardens, about 20 miles or so west of Oxford. They have lovely grounds and a great snowdrop collection. They also sell some 'in the green' each year, from galanthus nivalis, surely one of the most beautiful 'bog standard' bulbs there is, to one of their own, Galanthus Bagpuize Virginia.

Two years ago Kevin and I visited Kingston Bagpuize at snowdrop time. It was also a snowy time, so the flowers were a bit of work to find, but find we did. I was admiring the garden's own flower, the aforementioned 'Bagpuize Virginia', but they didn't have any for sale. However, the wonderful owner said no problem, and promptly dug up a few for me!

Snowdrops can take a little time to settle and last year I got the greenery but no flowers. But this year...

Gardeners are so generous. I think if the world was run by gardeners it would be a much nicer place. Muddier, but nicer.