Back In February last year I set myself the challenge of photographing a `Posy of the Month’ with flowers picked from our garden. I have now finally completed my challenge and this month’s Posy is a celebration of the dainty Snowdrop.
`LONE Flower, hemmed in with snows and white as they
But hardier far, once more I see thee bend
Thy forehead, as if fearful to offend,
Like an unbidden guest. Though day by day,
Storms, sallying from the mountain-tops, waylay
The rising sun, and on the plains descend;
Yet art thou welcome, welcome as a friend
Whose zeal outruns his promise! Blue-eyed May
Shall soon behold this border thickly set
With bright jonquils, their odours lavishing
On the soft west-wind and his frolic peers;
Nor will I then thy modest grace forget, Chaste Snowdrop, venturous harbinger of Spring, And pensive monitor of fleeting years! ‘
William Wordsworth 1819
The humble dainty white snowdrop is a very different flower to the brash, bold dahlias I photographed last year. I haven’t got many snowdrops in the garden as the squirrels seem to think the bulbs are nuts and dig them up! However the few I have mark the beginning of a new gardening year. I love the phrase in Wordsworth’s poem `Chaste Snowdrop, venturous harbinger of Spring, and pensive monitor of fleeting years.’ The dainty white snowdrop foreshadows Spring and the heralding daffodils and marks the end of one gardening year and the start of another.
For my Posy I wanted to capture the purity of the white snowdrop. I bought a vintage perfume bottle, a trinket box together with a few glass bottles. My aim was to capture an image that looked like a vintage dressing table with the perfume bottle and vintage jewellery. I decided that silver and clear glass would work well with the white of the snowdrops. I chose a Wintery blue background to create an image reminiscent of a cold January day.
The `Flower Book for the Pocket’ belonged to my Gran. It seemed to belong in my image. I hope it conveys the atmosphere of a 1930s ladies dressing table.
Apart from the snowdrops my Hellebores are coming into their own and I have added to my collection in the last month.
Helleborus × ericsmithii Ice Breaker Max
Large outfacing single creamy-white flowers, with a slight greenish tinge, appear in early spring.
Helleborus x hybridus ‘Molly’s White’
Attractive marbled foliage all year round and in Late Winter and Spring stems hold the pure white flowers above the foliage.
Helleborus niger Mini Blanc
This one is an early bloomer and can often be seen in flower at Christmas time.
Helleborus x ballardiae Gold Collection Cinnamon Snow
Pink buds open to creamy white flowers suffused with warm rose and cinnamon. Dark cinnamon rose petal on the reverse side. The large blooms face outward.
There is an unknown variety in bloom in our front garden.
We also have a few pink cyclamen flowers in bloom and a white primula called Spring Charm.
The colours of January seem to have been muted whites, blues, pinks and greys. The snowdrop being the harbinger of Spring rather than the bold, brash daffodils which herald the arrival of Spring shortly.