The Common Snowdrop, identifiable as Galanathus nivalis in the Amaryllidaceae family, is one of Scotland’s favourite flowers in home gardens. Large-scale drifts of snowdrop bulbs can be seen on display to the public during the Scottish Snowdrop Festival at remote locations and in the Scottish cities including Edinburgh.
Scottish Snowdrops in Edinburgh
In and around Edinburgh, there will be an abundance of snowdrops in the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), a 20 to 30 minute walk from the main train stations serving Edinburgh, Edinburgh Waverley and Haymarket. During the Scottish Snowdrop Festival, snowdrop cultivars can be bought from the Shop located in the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.
Scottish Snowdrops Around Edinburgh
In the countryside around Edinburgh, snowdrops can be found on the 150-acre estate of Hopetoun House in South Queensferry. Starting life in Hopetoun House Walled Garden, Dougal Philip’s New Hopetoun Gardens garden centre (Newton Village, West Lothian EH52 6QZ) is nearby with snowdrops for sale and refreshments in The Orangery Tearoom.
The artist’s garden of around 1-acre at Shepherd House Garden, Inveresk village, near Edinburgh, is expected to be a snowdrop filled treat during February and March. This is a reminder of how a stunning spread of snowdrops, in the rays of summer sun, with snow on the ground, does not require large woodlands to be enchanting.
Background to the Scottish Snowdrop Festival
VisitScotland e-Update of June 2017 announced the success of the first national Snowdrop Festival in Scotland. The Scottish Snowdrop Festival 2017 welcomed over 66,000 visitors to 54 gardens and woodlands, raising in excess of £90,000. In the June 2017 report, Philip Riddle, VisitScotland Chief Executive was reported as saying “The beauty of the Scottish Snowdrop Festival is that everyone can participate, whether you are planning a city break or want to escape to the countryside you can take in breathtaking views of one of Scotland’s favourite flowers” .
Full details of the participating woodlands and gardens open to the public during the Scottish Snowdrop Festival in 2019 are available from Visit Scotland.
Buying Snowdrops for the Home Garden
Galanathus nivalis, a bulb in Amaryllidaceae family, Common Snowdrop, is a distinct sight of a pair of white flowers, each on a thin stem between two basal leaves. Snowdrops flowering in a Scottish home garden in late winter are shown in the image below. In central Scotland, snowdrops will flower from late winter into early spring. Snowdrop enthusiasts wishing to buy and plant snowdrops are advised to research the most appropriate cultivar to buy for their geographical location and garden site in the UK. Notable Galanathus nivalis cultivars to consider include ‘Flore Pleno’, Lutescens, ‘Pusey Green Tip’, ‘Sandersii’ and ‘Scharlockii’.
British gardeners will find stocks of Galanathus nivalis, known in the UK as snowdrop, in garden centres in February and March during the snowdrop’s public early spring flowering period. Gardeners wishing to learn how to propagate by division snowdrops planted in their garden after early-spring flowering can read an article on snowdrop propagation in Gardens Illustrated magazine (BBC Magazines, February 2018) or consult the Royal Horticultural Society Encyclopedia of Gardening (Dorling Kindersley).