The double snowdrop

A walk over to Studland yesterday morning, and an afternoon stroll around the rectory garden in the afternoon revealed a few signs that spring is not too far away.  Helen spotted the lesser celandines in flower in a bank near the Parish cross in Studland, and all the way up to The Glebe we saw the leaves of wild arum uncurling, goose grass and nettles putting on new growth, alexanders raising their vigorous designs on taking over the verges, with even a little cow parsley, further behind, but flagging up its presence.

In the garden, the most exciting thing for me, at this moment, are the double snowdrops.  I picked one and brought it into the house for pressing, having looked closely at its beauty first.  We bought a few bulbs at the market in Dorchester two years ago.  Last January they were disappointing, with just a very few weedy blooms, but I hoped that it was just a year of settling in - so it has proven to be.  This year there are far more flowers, and they are gorgeous, with the lovely green swirls under the pure white outer petals, and just the tiniest specks of orange stamens.  I know that, as with many double flowers, they are not good for the insects, that find the single flowers so much easier to pollinate.  But that is more of an issue over cherry trees!  If in doubt plant a single not a double, is the rule of thumb, but when it comes to double snowdrops, I wouldn’t like to be without them, even though the simple beauty of the single snowdrop is ever the most glorious.

John Mann