SNOWDROPS AT HIGHER CHERUBEER
While living in Buckinghamshire, Jo got to know a group of galanthophiles: a term used to describe snowdrop enthusiasts. Included among them were the eminent galanthophiles Richard Nutt and Primrose Warburg. Since then, Jo has had a fascination for these small but very special plants and has even bred varieties of her own, named after her children, Daisy and Jack. “I love breeding and growing plants on, because I’m naturally inquisitive,” she says. There are approximately 400 named cultivars in the garden at Higher Cherubeer, including some that flower as early as September, such as Queen Olga’s snowdrop, Galanthus reginae-olgae subsp. reginae-olgae.
Jo’s favourite snowdrops include:
‘S. Arnott’: “It smells wonderful and makes big, robust clumps,” she explains.
‘Trumps’: “An interesting flower, with green marks on the tips of its outer petals.”
‘Fly Fishing’: “A tall, elegant snowdrop that starts flowering in January.”
‘Madeleine’: “The best performing yellow form for me: it clumps up nicely.”
Galanthus ikariae: “An excellent late snowdrop, with very green inner petals, which can still be in flower in April. I’m attempting to make a carpet of it using plants grown from seed I got from the Alpine Garden Society.”
The social side of collecting snowdrops also appeals to Jo. “It’s fun having get-togethers in the winter months, visiting snowdrop gardens and swapping plants,” she says. “Having a carpet of Galanthus nivalis, though it would look spectacular, just wouldn’t be the same as having lots of different and unusual varieties.”