Snowdrops at Rowallane Garden

Close up picture of snowdrops

The early herald of spring is of course the snowdrop, don’t we all love to see those delicate bells appearing above the snow and frost, defying nature!

Now is the time of year that our snow drops begin to spring up.
Snowdrops in the Woodland at Rowallane Garden
Now is the time of year that our snow drops begin to spring up.

 

Snowdrops may appear delicate but actually they are as tough as old boots. As the sleeping bulbs sense a warmer temperature in the air they begin to stir, and the green shoots have reinforced tips that help them pierce through snow and frost.

The snowdrop particularly symbolises hope in the language of flowers, but look closer again into its natural history spirit. In pagan times the Imbolc Festival (February 2nd) was held, where snowdrops were regarded as the symbol of the festival.

In Christianity the snowdrop was associated with Eve who after being banished from the garden of Eden sat weeping when an angel comforted her. It was snowing and the angel caught a snowflake in his hand and blew on it, when it dropped to the earth it formed the first snowdrop and hope was born.

In its native lands in Europe some scientists have examined the healing benefits where they have discovered that the chemicals produced in the bulb has slowed down the effect of Alzheimer’s disease recently. Snowdrops stand for so many concepts, from purity, simplicity, and grace to hope and fortitude in the face of adversity.

Snowdrops at Rowallane Garden

At Rowallane we have planted over 100,000 bulbs over the past ten years, mostly in the Pleasure Grounds. The bulbs are dormant which can be difficult  and slow to break so we plant them in February when still green to avoid this. Although they take a little while to bulk up initially they are now coming up well each spring. We have been very fortunate that several fundraising groups such as Ulster Garden Scheme and Belfast Members along with private donations have helped fund the planting.