Galanthus ‘Castlegar’ is an attractive snowdrop of simple elegance with the added value of flowering early in the snowdrop season, reliably in the first week of December. It will also be forever associated with the late Dr. J.G.D. (Keith) Lamb, one of our great Irish gardeners, generally credited with saving many varieties of Irish heritage apples, having completed his doctorate at University College, Dublin, in 1949 on The Apple in Ireland, Its History and Varieties.
Regarding the snowdrop, he wrote: “In 1985, Sir George and Lady Mahon took us to see their old home in Castlegar (on the outskirts of Galway City). It was not a horticultural trip but when I looked out the window, I saw snowdrops in flower under a tree and I was given a few bulbs. A year or two later Ruby and David Baker were here and were intrigued by such an early snowdrop. They took specimens to a meeting of snowdrop enthusiasts in England. They wrote back to say that no one knew what it was and that it should be named, hence the name, ‘Castlegar’.”
(As appeared in Newsletter 147, January 2020. Text and photos courtesy of Paddy Tobin)