Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Wild Wednesday: Snowdrops

Tis the season for snowdrops. They can bloom as early as January in the UK and are the first light at the end of a gloomy winters tunnel. This year we had a bit of a trickle as opposed to a wave of blooms, however we are in full swing now.

A number of places throughout England and Scotland have snowdrop walks as blankets of snowdrops can be found in formal gardens to woodland wonderlands. This link to the Woodlands Trust  has information and identification sheets, discussions and blogs about the best places are at the time to see where snowdrops have naturalized. That's right naturalized.

Once thought of as a wildflower, there is only documentation of snowdrops in England in cultivation before the 18th century. When you see woodlands with a carpet of white blooms, there is no wonder why it's origin was mistaken.

Snowdrops along with crocuses are very important for pollinators as well. Bees and other early arousing nectar drinking insects are happy not to have to wait for happy hour to take a sip.  That being said, they are only polinated and produce seeds in times of very mild weather, like this year.  Most of the time, they reproduce not by seed, but by bulb division.  

I am not the only one smitten by the snowdrop, here is a poem by a much better writer than myself.

By William Wordsworth

LONE Flower, hemmed in with snows and white as they
But hardier far, once more I see thee bend
Thy forehead, as if fearful to offend,
Like an unbidden guest. Though day by day,
Storms, sallying from the mountain-tops, waylay
The rising sun, and on the plains descend;
Yet art thou welcome, welcome as a friend
Whose zeal outruns his promise! Blue-eyed May
Shall soon behold this border thickly set
With bright jonquils, their odours lavishing
On the soft west-wind and his frolic peers;
Nor will I then thy modest grace forget,
Chaste Snowdrop, venturous harbinger of Spring,
And pensive monitor of fleeting years!


No comments:

Post a Comment