Ireland’s snowdrop season is about to begin, with gardeners all over the country itching to see the first shy white flowers opening their slender petals from this month onwards.
Ireland is famous for its snowdrop collections, with some of the finest to be seen anywhere opening to visitors throughout early spring. The biggest and best of the snowdrop festivals is held at Altamont
Gardens in Co. Carlow, which has been building its collection since the 19 th century and now boasts over 100 different varieties. And there are loads of other great places to find good snowdrop displays all around the country, including Primrose Hill in Lucan, Co Dublin; The Argory, Co Armagh; and Springhill, Co Londonderry.
Ireland’s love affair with the snowdrop has produced some fine Irish-bred varieties, such as twice- flowering ‘Straffan’, the fully double ‘Hill Poe’ and green-flushed ‘Emerald Isle’. Collecting snowdrops is an absorbing hobby, though rather addictive! Start with easier varieties, such as Galanthus elwesii, and add more each year. It’s not too late to boost your garden’s snowdrop count right now: look out for ready-planted pots of bulbs about to burst into flower here at the garden centre in Bitton and Warminster, and simply plant in your garden to enjoy throughout February.