Wednesday, February 28, 2018


I spent February deep in snowdrop fever.

There is something magical about these pure white blooms, the way their delicate buds push through frozen ground, their sudden appearance at one of the bleakest times of the year. Every year they enchant me.

This year they brought a wave of intense creativity with them. It started with an art journal spread, which was heavily inspired by Etienne Francey's luminous photo Winter Magic, and used some of the artwork of Edith Holden.

 Then there was a mug, painted at a pottery painting cafe on a meetup with a friend, continuing what seemed to be becoming a theme of combining snowdrops with purple and blue tones. It turned out wonderfully, and has quickly become one of my favourite mugs.

But the snowdrop themed creativity was showing no signs of stopping. A length of needle felted snowdrops flew from my fingers and entwined themselves in my hair.

I shaped and painted jewellery, a myriad of forms all imitating the same flower.

I felt urged to pair the snowdrop forms with shimmering glass beads which glittered like ice.

All the jewellery was made with polymer clay, and was very inspired by Art Nouveau flower jewellery.

I was also inspired to take my crystals outside and try to make a mandala of sorts around some of the snowdrops. The resulting photos were like something from a fantasy land, where iridescent rocks spring from the earth around perfect white flowers.

I id a lot of snowdrop research, looking up where to find them and their history, and they enchant me even more now that I know a little about them.

They are not native to the UK, something which surprised me, as I had always thought of them as a native wildflower. They are native to Europe and and the Middle East, spreading from Spain to Syria. They were most likely introduced to Britain in the 1600s, and were first recorded as a naturalised plant in the 1770s. One of the first areas to be naturalised was Gloucestershire, a stones throw from my beloved Bristol. The Latin name for the genus, Galanthus, means "milk flower", which I love. The most widespread and widely recognised species is Galanthus Nivalis-nivalis means "of the snow".

There are about twenty species of snowdrop, but there are many cultivated varieties within those. Colesbourne Park, a famous snowdrop garden, has 350 different varieties. Even in my excursions closer to home I have spotted double snowdrops, many layered snowdrops, giant snowdrops, and snowdrops with thin spiky petals, in addition to an abundance of the simple, six petalled galanthus nivalis. Something about their simplicity of form makes them my favourite, despite the novelty and delight of other varieties.

The cold weather has lengthened the snowdrop season this year, and I am still seeing perfectly intact blooms and even new buds, so I think I have a little longer to enjoy these normally fleeting beauties. I feel like that wave of creativity hasn't quite run out either, so more snowdrop creations may flow from my hands.

I am happy for their magic to keep me entranced.


  1. So many beautiful projects! Thank you for sharing your findings on snowdrops, too.