Rare and Collectable Snowdrops - Galanthus "Green Bush" and Galanthus "Franz Josef"

This year I have greatly added to my snowdrop collection and will keep an eye on them as the season progresses, noting how they increase for next year, how they have developed this winter. Today I contrast the reasonably priced "Green Bush" with the extravagantly expensive "Franz Josef".
Purchased in December is the rapidly clumping up "Green Bush" making a statement on my display bench.
In close-up the plant repays the investment tenfold, especially when one considers the alternative ..

A genuinely rare specimen, "Franz Josef" is a beautiful double form from Germany. Though my specimen was from rather nearer home.
Acquired in January, Galanthus "Franz Josef", though admittedly at this early stage in its growth, is attractive enough though I could have purchased a whole tray of "Green Bush" for one of this German import at some nurseries I have visited. It is a double flowering variety and the photograph this afternoon does not do that justice unless I was in a reclining position.

Helleborus x hybridus Harvington double lilac speckled & Helleborus × hybridus Harvington picotee

My two purchases from Hodsock yesterday, impulse buys both.
The smaller of the two hellebores and most expensive, but the speckled double lilac was full of flower and looks particularly good at eye level. The Hugh Nunn nursery has got the breeding of these magnificent flowering plants off to perfection.
"Picotee" just said buy me. My wife said "Surely not." Always listen to your plants.
If there is a blemish with hellebores it is that they look best if one is on one's back looking up. But Picotee actually looks good looking down. And my shirts stay cleaner this way.

Hodsock Priory, 1st February 2015

We like to visit Hodsock early in February as well as later in month. Today was increasingly sunny,  the gardens looking in wonderful condition. The visitor experience was well organised with George Buchanan conspicuous and courteous as ever, his father, Sir Andrew, equally conspicuous in his high visibility jacket as he directed the parking.
The winter flowering cyclamen coum is quite a  sight. I have them all over our garden but maybe I need  more sunshine to bring them to their best.

On a cold winter day the log fire is a welcome treat, especially with bacon butty and hot coffee.
Garrya elliptica 'James Roof' is a blisteringly striking shrub when grown well.

The gatehouse is the oldest part of the house.

Viewed from across the lake, Hodsock is a lovely sight.

And finally snowdrops. Galanthus "Magnet" is one of the best varieties one can buy and the well stocked plant sales area had them on sale at a decent price.  I already have the variety in some abundance though I did make my purchase of two hellebores, of which more later.

And remembering .....

Galanthus 'Mighty Atom'