Here and there around the garden the snowdrops are at varying stages of opening. Many still hang in droplet form, nodding gently to themselves in the February breeze. Others have opened up to resemble goats’ ears or helicopter blades.
Every year I wish I knew which varieties we have. Most are no doubt the standard Galanthus nivalis, but there are others with similar but larger blooms, (like the clump at the bottom of the garden which is always the first to open), or which seem to stand taller, or which are decidedly different (like the ones that grow beneath the Deutzia, with their broad grey-green leaves and huge blooms). Then there are the “doubles” whose frills, while pretty, are too fussy for my liking. I much prefer the simple elegance of the single-flowered varieties.
Yesterday we spent a couple of happy, calming hours wandering among the snowdrops in the grounds of Kingston Bagpuize House. There are rare varieties to admire in the borders, swathes of large, white blooms in the shrubbery, and carpets of flowers like snowfall in Church Copse and Courtclose Copse.
It was a much-needed slow Sunday afternoon; the delicate beauty of the snowdrops causing us to stop and be present.
And while it is still snowdrop season (for as long as they continue to bloom) I plan to devote the coming Sundays to snowdrop appreciation. If you would like to join me I’ll be posting images on Instagram using the hashtag #snowdropsundays