Garden Diary - March 2011

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Saturday, 12 March 2011
Roadside Snowdrops

I'm always looking at plants. In my own garden, of course. In the gardens of friends. Public gardens. Even the gardens of strangers. How's that? As I'm driving on local roads as well as watching traffic I'm looking out for roadside plants. (And wouldn't it be nice if there was a book on plant identification at 40 to 50 miles per hour.) There's one place I notice every Spring, with masses of snowdrops in bloom. Think to myself I should stop and ask about them, never have. Until this year.

Colonies of snowdrops along the roadside, oblivious non-gardening drivers zooming by.

Growing amidst the trees, the bramble-y Japanese wineberry canes, onion grass . . . . .

roadside trash such as empty soda cans and paper cups tossed out the car window by obnoxious drivers.

Big colonies, wider than my two outspread hands placed side by side. I pulled in the driveway and parked.
Walked over to the front door. Knocked. The man who opened it listened to my babble about the snowdrops.
How beautiful I found them, and when had they been planted, what could he tell me about them. Alas, nothing.
He's only a tenant. Been living here two years. There's been another tenant before him, for fifteen years. But
if I wanted to take some pictures, that was fine with him. So I did. Someone once had made a garden here.

They aren't anything rare, these snowdrops. Galanthus nivalis, foolishly called the "common" snowdrop.
Call them special, for their persistence in the absence of care, for their large and healthy colonies. I'll come again.
This year, next year. And pay homage to the beauty of these self-sufficient little bulbs welcoming Spring.

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