Friday, February 18, 2011

Snowdrop mania

How many snowdrop varieties have you got in your garden? I have one, Galanthus elwesii. I hope I never have any more, as it could prove extremely expensive.
I can quite understand how people get addicted to a certain plant, and start collecting all the cultivars they can lay their hands on. I could - were it not for the fact that I have a will of iron - quite easily become an acer addict. I have unfortunate tendencies when it comes to succulents and spiky plants. And as VP will testify, I cannot pass an exotic nursery stand without making a purchase. But I don't think I could ever become a snowdrop devotee.
Perhaps there's something lacking in my make-up, but to me a snowdrop is a snowdrop is a snowdrop. The fact that one might have a green bit where another one has an all-white bit is a matter of supreme indifference. I'm certainly not prepared to pay premium prices for one measly bulb.
However, I do admit to a preference for G. elwesii, as they are bigger, so they show up better in the garden, and they have a sort of sprightly elegance about them.
I spent Tuesday at the Royal Horticultural Society London Plant and Design Show. This was a rather uneasy mixture of roof gardens and spring bulbs. I think the juxtaposition seemed odd because mid-February is not the sort of time you think about sitting out in a roof garden. Needless to say, the hall with the plants (below) was much busier than the hall with the design.

However, the proceedings were enlivened for me by the presence of VP, Arabella Sock, Lazy Trollop and Helen and her partner. A flower show is always an attraction but a flower show followed by a pub lunch with fellow bloggers? I'm there.

Here we are assembled on what Arabella (centre) calls the "biddies' balcony", where all the pensioners go to eat their sandwiches. I am represented by the totally gorgeous spotty aspidistra (Aspidistra mushaensis 'Spotty Dotty') which I bought from Crug Farm Plants. You'll note that I purchased this without a whimper, whereas I bored VP (left) rigid all afternoon about the high price of snowdrops...