Galanthus elwesii var. monostictus ‘Hiemalis’

It is a lovely sunny, day; cold but crisp. There is still  not much out in the garden though. Prunus mume ‘Beni-chidori’ is showing pink but not yet opening.


Prunus x subhirtella ‘Autumnalis rosea’ stubbornly refuses to open its delicate pink flowers. The witch hazels are just showing the tiniest bit of colour. But I don’t mind because these delights are still to come. For now I have this lovely snowdrop with the impossible name to enjoy.


Galanthus elwesii var. monostictus  ‘Hiemalis’

The name doesn’t fall trippingly off the tongue I’m afraid, but at least it is one of my snowdrops which still has a label. Some of the others in their journeys from garden to garden have lost their labels. Many others have had their labels stolen by malicious squirrels. I can’t imagine what they want them for. I don’t suppose they do want them really. It’s pure malice. Anyway I have my book which is invaluable for the next month or two. It is expensive but for the serious galanthophile it is very useful. it is called ‘Snowdrops. A Monograph of Cultivated Galanthus’ . It is written by Matt Bishop, Aaron Davies and John Grimshaw. In the weeks to come I will be spending many an hour outside with my book peering up snowdrops’ skirts and counting the green spots.


If the snowdrop bible and I are at a loss I shall be asking snowdrop mad bloggers for help.The trouble about not being sure of the names of your snowdrops is that you find yourself buying the same snowdrop twice. And that’s a very expensive mistake to make.

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21 Responses to Galanthus elwesii var. monostictus ‘Hiemalis’

  1. Flighty says:

    It’s always good to see the first snowdrops, but I think that it’s rather a shame that they’re way down there nestling among the fallen leaves looking at the ground.
    Thanks for following my blog, I’ve done likewise with yours which I’m enjoying reading. xx

    • Chloris says:

      Well it’s true that snowdrops sit amongst the fallen leaves but that’s part of their charm, that you have to go out and look for them and get down there with them.I don’t want my snowdrops sitting up perkily flaunting themselves like a peony.

  2. Your Snowdrops look lovely! My Jelena is in full bloom now but I do not see anything happening with my other Witch Hazels. How do you like the book? I have yet to order it. Here in the states it is a little pricey, but I think I will order it soon.


    • Chloris says:

      My Helena is hardly showing any colour at all.
      The book is expensive, have you looked on Amazon? I hate saying that, we’ll be sorry when they take over the world, but it is the best source for getting the cheapest price for a book.
      It is the best book on snowdrops that I have come across with good photos.

      • Yes Amazon does have it, a little pricey for me. Here in the States it is more expensive but I have been slowly convincing myself that I need it. I will most likely give in and order it and have it before the end of January 🙂

      • Chloris says:

        Anna from Green Tapestry left a comment reccomending Gunter Waldorf’s book, Snowdrops. It is probably not as comprehensive but it is cheaper. I just ordered it myself.

  3. rusty duck says:

    Our squirrels favour the technique of digging up all the labels then leaving them in a heap. Evil they are..

    • Chloris says:

      That’s interesting Jessica you have tidy-minded squirrels. Evil- but tidy. Mine hide them. Perhaps they have a secret stash somewhere which they think may come in handy one day. Maybe as little spades to dig up my bulbs with.

  4. Thank you for visiting my blog, Chloris, which caused me to find yours. I love it! I adore snowdrops, and yours are so pretty, but my Pennsylvania ones don’t appear until late March! Oh, how I miss England. Wishing you a happy New Year! P. x

    • Chloris says:

      We are lucky that we have so many snowdrops available here from October through to April so addicts can get their fix for several months.
      A happy New Year to you too Pam. I love your blog. What beautiful birds in your latest post.

  5. Anna says:

    My autumn flowering cherry was late this year Chloris but has been flowering for a couple of weeks now. Mind you the north west is usually milder than the east. I was the lucky recipient of a gift of the ‘snowdrop bible’ a few years ago, which I agree is an excellent source of information although some of the content floats over my head. Somewhat less expensive I’ve also more recently bought Gunter Waldorf’s ‘Snowdrops’, which I think is a great little introduction to the subject. I’ve also bought the same snowdrop twice but I’ve only got myself to blame for missing labels:) I may well be asking for help when it comes to snowdrop identity too.

    • Chloris says:

      Well thank you Anna, on your recommendation I have just bought the Gunter Walddorf book. I had never heard of it before. This ‘Buy-With-a Click’ thing on Amazon is dangerously easy.

      • Chloris says:

        The Gunter Waldorf book has just arrived, Anna and I am so pleased with it. Lovely clear pictures. Thank you very much for the recommendation. I had never heard of it before. Now I shall be telling all my galathanophile friends about it.

  6. Annette says:

    How delightful to spot the first snowdrop, Chloris, and I adore Beni- chidori and am pretty desperate because I can’t find it here. Guess I have to admire it on your blog for the time being. 😉

    • Chloris says:

      Well my first snowdrop was ‘Barnes’ which is finished now. Although perhaps I should say that was my last and this one which will take me into the New Year is my first.
      Anyway, the Japanese Apricot; Prunus mume is divine. Very early flowering, a deep, deep pink and deliciously fragrant. Do you have an equivalent of the Plant Finder over there? Everyone should have a Japanese Apricot.

  7. Jo says:

    I only have a few snowdrops in my garden but haven’t noticed any in flower yet, I shall have to go outside and have a poke around when the rain stops.

  8. Chloris says:

    Hello Jo,
    I think you should say if the rain stops. It seems to be pretty well set in for the next days. But maybe you will be luckier up there in the north.
    Many of my snowdrops are showing their little grey snouts above the soil. The one in this post isn’t early, it is one that always blooms at this time of year.

  9. Pauline says:

    Your snowdrop is beautiful, they are such wonderful flowers at this time of year, I have just found my first one, but label has gone missing so will have to look it up. I already have the two snowdrop books mentioned but received A Gardener’s Guide to Snowdrops for Christmas so no excuse for not identifying it!
    We actually have sunshine today which is wonderful after all the rain that has been thrown at us.
    Wishing you and your family All the Best for the New Year, may you and your garden have many happy hours together in 2014.

  10. Chloris says:

    Well I am ahead of you there Pauline, because I have looked at your lovely post and seen your snowdrop. I left a comment saying that I am sure that your snowdrop is the same as this one! As I said in my comment I love your garden. Anyone reading this do check out Pauline’s blog: her Hellebores are to die for.
    Happy New Year to you too.

  11. bittster says:

    great pictures, I love this time of year with all the little sprouts…. unfortunately it’s a bit more hostile here with snow and ice, but our turn will come soon enough (or at least that’s what I tell myself!)

  12. Chloris says:

    Well the snow and ice can’t go on for ever. I love all those little bulb snouts too. And the plump buds on the trees, it is all so exciting. Spring is just round the corner.

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