Snowdrops from Colesbourne Park in the Cotswolds are going to be part of an innovative display at the RHS’s London show next week.
The garden near Cheltenham is one of several that have donated flowers for a hanging installation created by award-winning designer Fiona Silk.
Other donations have come from Lord Heseltine’s Banbury garden, Barnsdale Gardens, established by Geoff Hamilton and Royal Horticultural Society president Sir Nicholas Bacon.
The eye-level display will allow visitors to see the intricate details of the snowdrops close-up; often galanthophiles, as snowdrop enthusiasts are called, resort to mirrors on the end of poles to be able to study the blooms. Each snowdrop will be labelled with its variety and origin.
Elsewhere in the show, writer Naomi Slade is making a Winter Garden display featuring plants with winter interest
Sir Henry and Lady Elwes have chosen to send one of the Colesbourne snowdrops that is particularly important to them.
“We are supplying our own very special hybrid G. ‘George Elwes’, which we found at Colesbourne at the time our young son, George, was killed and is therefore very special to us,” explained Sir Henry.
“It is one of the best modern hybrids with very strong green markings and greyish green leaves and quite prolific.”
Colesbourne has also been asked to supply snowdrops for other areas of the RHS show.
“We will be putting together a parcel including ‘Straffan’, a very late snowdrop, ‘S. Arnott’, the strong scented one, ‘Hippolyta’, one of the very best doubles and G. ‘Viridapice’, the one with green tips to the petals.
“It is an honour for a private garden to be able to supply these when commercial nurseries are unable to do so and it is because we are now gaining such a good reputation for the quality and variety of plants we have – 350 different varieties!”
• The Early Spring Plant Fair, at RHS Lindley Hall, Westminster, is open on February 13 and 14. There will be nursery displays, workshops and talks. For more details and to book tickets, visit the RHS website.
• Details of the 2018 Cotswold snowdrop gardens are here.