Shepherd House Garden is a garden of approx one acre. As we are a small formal garden our snowdrops are grown in beds and borders so you will not find acres of snowdrops.
But I have a growing collection of specialist snowdrops having recently become very interested in growing and painting snowdrop hybrids and cultivars. I am quite a new ‘Galanthophile’ which means someone who collects specialist snowdrops. To the beginner all snowdrops look the same but as you get to know them you realise that there are a lot of differences.
Some flower as early as October and some as late as April, some have bigger flowers, some have more green markings, some broader leaves, some grow tall and some are short. Believe it or not there are over 600 different types. Collecting them is expensive and addictive. Special snowdrop bulbs cost from £3.00 to £50.00 per bulb.
So far I have over 70 named varieties. I have given each a description on a label in the garden which you may find interesting. Each snowdrop has its own story of where and by whom it was found. Snowdrops do not do fwell in perennial borders so I have planted mine in the less formal areas towards the back of the garden. The vast majority of the snowdrop cultivars are random seedlings discovered by chance. Those that differ from the majority have long been selected by gardeners.
I also have a good collection of hellebores, as well as crocus, aconites Iris unguicularis and reticulata, species tulips and many other spring flowering bulbs. Most of my Hellebores are Ashwood Garden Hybrids and range in colour from yellow/white to the deepest purple.