Did you know that there is an enthusiasm called Snowdrop Mania – galanthophiles -which has developed over the last ten years?

I knew there were  variations on the standard form of the plant which has three outer white segments and inner smaller ones with green markings. Those who have a Domino Guide, Fitter, Fitter and Blamey will find 4 varieties named there – Pleated, Greater, Green and Queen Olga’s  G.plicatus, ewesii, ikariae, and olgae-reginae. But these are just the tip of the iceberg.

My interest was aroused on listening to an Open Country radio programme which featured a man in Somerset  who works for a nursery  and has found and named many of the popular varieties, maybe as many as a 100. Some people are prepared to pay over £1000 at auction for a single bulb which seems astonshing. The nursery is surrounded by a small woodland which already has new varieties within it and the bees which the family have, do the rest to provide even more varieties.

When he discovers a new variety he cultivates and protects them, taking many years before they become established.

So, I for one will be looking more closely at the Snowdrops I see and hoping to find what will be for me, a new variety.

Christine Bell