While the snowdrop seems to exert a special fascination on many members of the gardening public and there are plenty of books about snowdrops, comparatively little coverage is given to those snowdrops that have been found, or bred, and named in the gardens and nurseries of Ireland.

One of the choice Irish snowdrops that we grow is Galanthus ‘Kildare’; it is a really good virescent (Ed. an overall greenish appearance so has green on the outer segments) snowdrop and frequently produces two scapes from one bulb. This cultivar is considered to be a G. nivalis x G. plicatus cross and was found by the well-known British galanthophiles, David and Ruby Baker, when they were in County Kildare.

The good news is that this cultivar is available from various sources in the horticultural trade.

Snowdrops will be happy in most situations. Our plants can be found under trees and shrubs, in borders, in shade, part-shade, or sun and, for some of the ‘specials’, in pots. The bulbs are grown in normal garden soil while the pot-based cultivars are re-potted every year to try to avoid problems. After flowering we add a little top dressing of a general-purpose fertilizer. Finally, if clumps become congested, they can be lifted and split to increase your colonies.


As appeared in Newsletter 157, January 2023. Image Courtesy of Nicola Milligan and text courtesy of Peter Milligan.