Millichope Snowdrops

I’ve never known snowdrops in the quantity that are found in the Corvedale. I used to get the school bus into Rugby which went through a small village called Leamington Hastings, on the bank of a garden there was a famed carpet of Galanthus Nivalis – it was as nothing compared to those that sprout on verges, riverbanks and formal plantings in the Shropshire. The above pictures show those at Millichope. Katherine Swift writes in the Morville Hours of Old Tom, a shepherd who lives (lived?) at Broncroft Parks, a mile or so from me, who used to “take clumps of snowdrops from the banks of the brook and plant them out along the lanes, each year a little further . . . . lining the lanes with snowdrops, a ribbon of white.”

I’ve been clearing the bank by the side of the house of the remains of nettles and debris to reveal the snowdrops there all the better against the ground. The effect, whether originally intentioned or not, is of them falling of the cliff. The first blades of daffodils are joining them already, the cusp of new botanical life taking over from the remains of last years dead leaves and stalks.

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