February 2011

The February meeting did make us feel that at last the winter was early over. We welcomed back Joe Sharman of Monksilver Nursery, Cottenham, and his subject was ‘Snowdrops’,on which he is a well-known expert. Anyone who thought a snowdrop was just a snowdrop soon learnt otherwise. There are hundreds of different shapes and variations in the green and white of their flowers, and they grow all over Western Europe, even to the Crimea. People get so passionate about them that, as you may have seen lately in the press, they will even pay £357 for a single bulb, and £30-£40 is not unusual for a rare one. I certainly did not realise that snowdrops can be found in flower from September to April. The best places to see them round here are at Wandlebury, Anglesey Abbey and the churchyards at Newton and Granchester. Further afield there are wonderful masses at Benington Lordship, near Stevenage.

Joe brought a magnificent collection of named snowdrops and small cyclamen for sale, all in flower, and members were very interested.

Our next meeting is on Thursday 3 March at 7.45 pm in Fowlmere Village Hall when the speaker will be Julie Dore on ‘Hedgerow Herbs. The competition is for five daffodils/narcissi. Visitors will be most welcome.

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