galanthus elwesii 'Mrs Macnamara'. She originated from the garden of Mrs Macnamara who happened to be the mother - in - law of the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. She is an early flowerer but seems to have arrived ahead of time this year. I think that she may well have opened fully by the end of the week if the forecast was not as dire as it is.
Regular readers of this blog may recall that I have a small collection of named snowdrops which I first wrote about here back in February 2009. I keep my bulbs in pots mainly because it enables me to enjoy them at close quarters near to the house. They brave the world when most other plants are hibernating - their frail and dainty appearance belies the fact that they are tough customers. Another appealing feature is that snowdrops have a subtle almost honey like scent, which you do not fully appreciate when they are in the ground. As getting my nose to the ground is not as easy as it once was I appreciate having the pots nearer to my olfactory organ.
Sadly the very fact that I keep them in pots has been a source of much woe as the past couple of winters has decimated my collection. I always knew that I was taking a risk but the winter weather had not been an issue in ten years or more or so of growing this way. If we have a protracted cold spell this winter they will be moved rapidly to warmer climes and if these cold winters persist I will have to plant them into the ground. Alternatively when they start to clump up I might split them between pots and the ground. 'Mrs Macnamara' is being most obliging in this department - there are some littlies coming through. Sadly I will not be able to replace all those that perished as I do not have the spare pennies to spend on plants that I had a few years ago. However I hope to slowly add to their numbers again. Having a winter birthday is quite handy as it when most of the specialist growers produce their catalogues! I do not think though that I could ever become a full blown 'galanthophile' as the really serious collectors are called. Apart from the rising cost, there seems to be very little discernible difference in the markings of some snowdrops, yet if there was a risk of me becoming addicted to one particular plant snowdrops would be in the lead. More to come on the subject as the winter unfolds.