Galanthus reginae-olgae was discovered in the 1870s in the Taygotos moutains in the Mani peninsula in the Peloponnese.
This snowdrop was named for the Greek, Queen Olga, who was the Duke of Edinburgh’s Grandmother. It starts blooming in October and is still going strong. There were three blooms, but I accidentally pulled one off when I was raking up leaves. I used to have one very similar called Galanthus corcyrensis which comes from Corfu. It has since been established that it is the same and should be called Galanthus reginae-olgae too. Whatever its name, it is the earliest snowdrop of all and a welcome sight. It starts blooming well before my other early snowdrop, ‘Barnes’. From now on, there will be snowdrops to enjoy until April for the nerdy anoraks amongst us, who delight in counting little green spots on tiny white flowers all winter long. I know for those of you who don’t share the addiction this seems a peculiar way to spend the winter. But then winter doesn’t offer us many floral delights.
I visited the wonderful, isolated Mani peninsula in May a few years ago and the flora is amazing.
Apart from beautiful flowers there is a lovely Peloponnese tortoise, Testudo marginata.
And a Peloponnese Wall Lizard, Podarcis peloponnesiacus which I found appropriately enough on a wall.
Another treasure from this wonderful area is my lovely Cyclamen rhodium peloponnnesiacum. It has beautiful mottled leaves and lovely pink flowers. I was given it by a kind Greek lady, Electra, who I got talking to and found that she shared my passion for flowers and had a beautiful garden. It has to live in the greenhouse here but it doesn’t seem to mind.
Coming up in my next post my new project will be unveiled at last. I have been thinking about it and boring my friends and family about it long enough. At last it is finished.