Outing - Snowdrops at Anglesey Abbey on Tuesday 26 January 2016

snowdrops 2016

The weather forecast for Tuesday 26th January was high winds and rain, not ideal for an afternoon out.

Nine hardy gardeners met at the Methodist church, in anticipation of a good afternoon out in good company, fortunately the weather forecast only got it partially right.
We arrived at Anglesey Abbey in plenty of time to collect our tickets and wait for our tour guide. There was even time for a look around the National Trust shop and garden centre. For the snowdrop enthusiast there was a large display area dedicated to the snowdrop collector as well as single specimen snowdrops for sale from £8 upwards, we were told that some snowdrops can fetch hundreds of pounds each.

Our tour guide was one of Anglesey Abbey’s gardeners who was also had become a snowdrop collector in recent years. In the snowdrop world he is known as a galanthophile collector. Our guide told us the meaning of the word Galanthus, the generic name for the snowdrop, it’s a Greek word meaning “milk flower”. We found out the best way to propagate snowdrops, where to position them in the garden and the advantages of dividing up large clumps. Our tour took us to the old garden to see some of the different named varieties, many of which had been named after members of the household. Soon we were looking at the differences between the varieties, and beginning to appreciate a little about the fascination of snowdrop collecting.