Special Snowdrops

A different event for the first meet of 2019, we were given a talk on ‘Special Snowdrops’ by Jim Almond. Jim confessed to being a galanthophile and as well as collecting, growing and propagating snowdrops he gives lectures in many countries.

We learnt that there are 21 cultivars and over 3000 species of snowdrop. Jim’s very interesting and informative talk was accompanied by slides and he managed to show photographs of approximately 60 different cultivars. Jim told us of the dependable snowdrops guaranteed to return every year, the ones with yellow markings due to low chlorophyll, the unusual and special and the doubles. He also showed snowdrops with 6 outer petals instead of three. Many of the cultivars have bigger flowers than the common Galanthus nivalis and he had brought some beautiful ones to show us.

Jim’s rules are lift and divide and split clumps regularly, give some to a friend (insurance against loosing yours), propagate, grow some in pots and take photographs. He explained the technique to divide a clump and how to cut up bulbs to increase your stock. Seeds from your special snowdrops can be sown but will be different to to the parent. If you collect seeds sow immediately – you may get a new cultivar.

We learnt so much from this talk and Jim had brought along some plants to purchase. The afternoon was spent drawing and painting – snowdrops.