They have arrived! Snowdrops (Galanthus) People who collect the twenty of so varieties of snowdrop are called Galanthophiles. With the old-fashioned name of February-Fair-Maid.
These beautiful strong quiet signs of Spring can be considered a symbol of hope because it is one of the earliest signs of Spring.
In my opinion it is THE most romantic plant – rather than those imported out of season roses, try taking your loved one to a carpet of snowdrops and open their eyes to those unknown, but clearly visible hearts. Believe me a truly romantic moment, especially on a clear frosty evening.
However this has not always been the case. Folklore is rife with tales, and I thought I would share just two of them.
- Legend has it that when Adam and Eve were driven out of the garden of Eden winter reigned. Snow was falling and all was cold, dark, lifeless and barren. An Angel consoled Adam and Eve by promising them that Spring would follow Winter, and as a sign that this would happen, she breathed upon the falling snowflakes. Where these touched the ground snowdrops sprang up.
- The other superstition which must still haunt many of us, because they never appear in florists or supermarkets, or seem to be shown in flower arrangements, is that they are connected with death. Especially if one single flower is brought in, a death will soon follow. The belief being that they look like they are wearing a shroud.
For me though, I love the way they hug the ground just like those spots where snow might linger. I love seeing carpets of them, or small clumps on the banks along the lanes.
If you want to see them in all their glory I can recommend Painswick Rocco Gardens http://www.rococogarden.org.uk and the park in the middle of St James Square in Bath. I am keen to visit the Bishops Palace in Wells this year. Please let me know of your favourite Snowdrop sight.