Wildlife & Nature

Snowdrops in January

snowdrops-2Another name for snowdrops is ‘Candlemas Bells’, but these little flowers were in bloom long before Candlemas Day, which is on 2nd February.

I was delighted to discover them on 7th January in Princes’ Street Gardens, Edinburgh.   This is undoubtedly the earliest I have ever seen snowdrops in flower, and they made a very welcome sight.

Have you seen any snowdrops yet?   Do you know of any places where they make a beautiful snowy carpet?   I’d love to hear from you!

Snowdrop carpet
Snowdrops at Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire, photographed on 2nd March 2013

P1090492 snowdrops1


If you’d like to read more about the natural history and folklore of snowdrops, take a look at this feature on The Hazel Tree.

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  • housesandbooks

    I’m so jealous of your snowdrops, after enduring high temps this past week of minus 6 Fahrenheit (-21 C) in my home in Indiana. Our cold spell was roughly equivalent to summer on the summit of Everest. Can’t wait for my own crocus and squill to emerge, but it’ll be a long time still. Enjoy your beautiful snowdrops!

  • tearoomdelights

    I’m still looking for them….I remember seeing impressive carpets of them in Deeside last winter, so if I’m up there soon I’ll be sure to keep an eye out. It must be the mild weather we’ve been having that’s brought them out so early. Apparently Coupar Angus is taking part in this year’s Snowdrop Festival, so I hope there’ll be a grand show as it’s just down the road from me. There’s some more info here: http://www.visitscotland.com/see-do/events/scottish-snowdrop-festival

    • Jo Woolf

      I think you’re right, Lorna, it’s the mild weather and continued lack of frosts that have brought them forward, although we might be in for a frost tonight. Thank you very much for the link – if we are travelling near any of those places, I’ll keep an eye open for them. Dryburgh Abbey is somewhere that I really want to visit, anyway! And I like the idea of ‘Snowdrops by Starlight’ in St Andrews!

  • blosslyn

    The lady that had our garden before us love snowdrops and lilly of the valley, so you can guess we have hundreds of them, but the snowdrops are being very slow at the moment. I would like to collect some different types, but never seem to get around to the task, maybe year, when we have sorted the garden some more. But I have never heard them call Candlemas Bell, what a lovely name for them. Just remembered last year nearly every churchyard I went into was covered in them and I mean hundreds of clumps 🙂

    • Jo Woolf

      How lovely! I bet it is a picture in the spring. Lilies of the valley are a real cottage garden plant, and I love their scent. Yes, churchyards must be a great place for snowdrops to spread and multiply, completely unhampered!

  • Cornel A.

    By one hand, is lovely to see they are in bloom but, by the other, isn’t the right period of the year to be in bloom…
    I have seen some wildflowers in bloom a couple of days ago, too.

    • Jo Woolf

      That’s very true – we might pay for this mild weather later. Snowdrops are quite hardy but I think a lot of other more tender shoots might be brought out too soon!

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