Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Has Spring arrived?

Looking around there have been lots of clues that Spring has arrived in our neck of the woods, somewhat early this year. 
We have been fortunate in that our winter here has been very mild, with, so far, little frost and only one sprinkling of snow. And guess what? Our lovely little wild snowdrops are popping up everywhere.

Although traditionally thought of as a Spring flower, there are Snowdrop varieties which will flower from November through winter and into Spring.

Always a welcome sight and one that cheers the spirit is the little snowdrop with those wonderful delicate looking nodding heads. 
How beautiful they look against the rest of the drab floorscape and to me they always represent an annual treat and a triumph of nature. 
Just love them!

Especially when light levels are low they gleam in the gloom but look so vulnerable and delicate. You can see why some people become addicted to them.

A dear old friend of mine is a bit of a Galanthophile and although having only a tiny courtyard garden manages to grow oodles of snowdrops in pots. 
Pride of place this year has been given to her last extravagant purchase - Galanthus reginae-olga 

bought in memory of her mother, who sadly was not Queen of Greece but a lovely lady called Olga.

When she told me what each plant had cost her I was speechless. Seems there is a bit of a thing about snowdrops with keen collectors paying huge amounts to have the latest discovery which brings the exclusivity and value that only rarity can imbue.

I was appalled to hear about increasing numbers of snowdrop thefts throughout the country. 
Can you believe there are people who do that ? 
This is a very anti-social action - not only are all of us being deprived of the pleasure of seeing these beautiful flowers but it is an act of sheer vandalism and greed.
Can you imagine not being able to see sights like this?

I thought this kind of behaviour went out in the wake of Tulip mania in the mid 1600's when again collectors paid huge sums to acquire rare bulbs.

It will no doubt get to the stage when some snowdrop owners take drastic steps to either alarm their collections or no longer allow public access to them.
How sad that would be, and I for one would be all the poorer for not being able to see these harbingers of Spring.

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