Although this winter has been wet, our snowdrops have not minded in the least – in fact they are exceptional this year. They have sprung up regardless of the weather with a freedom and abundance and I can’t tell you how much joy they are bringing us.
I am a galanthophile – a complete snowdrop fanatic. I was enchanted by them when I planted our first snowdrops on the banks of our bog garden over twenty years ago where they have been gradually spreading every since.
Twenty seven years ago, when I first arrived here, Hew and I planted some trees, each the size of a broomstick in an area on the outer side of the moat, that was nothing but rough grass, brambles and nettles. Over a quarter of a century later these spindly little trees have become a woodland. Over the last couple of years or so, I have planted over 3000 snowdrops there and I will keep adding and dividing until they form a great white carpet. What a wonderful thing to say – that I am planting snowdrops in the woodland that I planted when I was 16.
I have been out today to that very woodland and picked a tiny bunch of snowdrops and put them in a vase on the kitchen table. Their strong honey scent being drawn out by the heat of the room.
I feel very proud. Not only to have planted our very own woodland, but to know the snowdrops I am planting there will go on reliably reappearing year after year for generations.