Flora on Snowdrops


…All round the ivied bank of the garden hedge the snowdrops hang their delicate heads, daring the wet and cold in their own miraculous way.

There is a mystic loveliness about the snowdrop, rising as it does from the dark and sodden earth, so pure and frail and spotless. It is everybody’s flower, beloved of all in town and country alike, for is it not the first signal of all to tell us the year has begun, and soon the spring will be here…

It is quite possible that England owes the introduction of the snowdrop to St. Francis, for although botanists have surmised its importation by the Romans, there is no proof of it; and what more natural than that some gardening friar under orders for England should take his last look round the Italian garden he was leaving and add to the selection of vegetable and pot-herb roots a few bulbs of the snowdrop, which, planted in the newly made garden of the English monastery, would serve as a memento both of the dearly loved founder of his Order and as a symbol of the pure grace and simplicity of that Lady Poverty whose servant he was?

Flora Thompson, A Country Calendar


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