Sunday, 4 January 2015

Galanthus elwesii 'Mrs McNamara'

I shall attempt to keep myself and anyone else informed about the progress of the various snowdrops I have planted recently. First up is Galanthus elwesii 'Mrs McNamara' photographed on 2nd January 2014.

There is a narrow inverted "v" shaped green mark on the inner petals although this clearly is not the main charm of the variety. The attraction is its height and earliness of bloom, it having been in flower for two weeks now. It should make an even more prominent clump next year.  



The bulb was purchased from the snowdrop expert at Easton Walled Garden last February and I paid more than could I buy it for today by mail order. That said, there were no postal charges and as it was pot grown it seemed a healthy specimen, at the time having only one spent flower but with the potential for a couple of shoots.

By way of contrast, here is a close-up of Galanthus plicatus 'Colossus', much the same size though the clump is not yet fully developed. Indeed, Colossus is if anything a little smaller. In the world of Galanthus, the name is ultra important and "Colossus" has a distinctive edge don't you think. Still, back to the name of today's plant.....

Plants are normally named as a token of affection. This stately plant was named after Dylan Thomas' mother-in-law, Yvonne Macnamara. Thomas did not have the best of relationships with the lady. In his recently discovered notebook he complained about the Hampshire weather and landscape: "I sit and hate my mother-in-law, glowering at her from corners and grumbling about her in the sad, sticky, quiet of the lavatory …” I'm sure Yvonne thought just as highly of him. She had high hopes for her daughter and a hard drinking poet was not her idea of a good match. Nice snowdrop though.


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