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What's in a name? Galanthus plicatus Sophie North


Many of you will have read Scotsgran’s blog referencing our wee day out to Dunblane for the SRGC early bulb show. In it she touched on the subject of a snowdrop I was admiring and subsequently both she and I bought for our respective gardens.

Let me set the scene. Here I was, for the first time, seeing the beauty in what is generally referred to as ‘special snowdrops’. Having never seen so many close together, I was totally unaware of just how different they look. You could call it a bit of a eureka moment! To me a snowdrop, was a snow drop, was a snow drop. A bulb that produced a tiny white flower in springtime. Just lately I thought it was about time I had some of these specials in my garden. I was studying these very closely. Let me tell you too that the scent was divine – this another first, I could never smell them before.

I was studying this pot of snowdrops – thinking to myself, I like these – they look sturdy and very healthy.
G. plicatus Diggory was on my list of want too see but if he was in there, I could not find him.

Just then an elderly lady asked to be excused so she could put down her pot of snowdrops. I happened to say good morning and told her I had noticed both pots were one of the same snowdrop and passed the comment on how beautiful I thought it was. Do you really think so was her reply. She then went on to tell me that she had in fact found this snowdrop growing in her garden in Dunblane.

When it came time to give the Snowdrop a name – it was decided that she wanted to call it after one of the children that was killed in the Dunblane Massacre. During that time she had been talking to Dr. Mike North, the father of one of the victims. He had shared with her that he had in fact lost his wife and Sophie had lost her mother, to cancer, just a couple of years before this tragic event. It was then she decide she would name her snowdrop after Sophie. Thereafter, all proceeds she made from the sale of the plant went to a trust set up in her name.

When we see a plant named after a person, do we ever give consideration as too why? I can honestly say, hand on heart, that this chance conversation touched me and even brought a lump to my throat. I knew then that I just had to have her!

I couldn’t wait to share this story with Scotsgran. She like me thought it was lovely way to pay tribute to this little girl.

Since coming home I’ve done a bit of research and have found out that the elderly lady is Dr. Evelyn Stevens who is a snowdrop enthusiast. She opens her garden under the Scottish Garden Scheme and I’m kind of hoping that Scotsgran fancies another wee day out. Let me know Sheila ;)

Here is a link to Scotland’s Gardens page about her garden.
The Linns

Evelyn, as she introduced herself to me, was kind of disappointed with the pot she put on display. It was no where near as good as the other she declared. The gentleman (I didn’t get his name) told us that he grows it in his greenhouse, where it does very well.

Dr Evelyn Stewart’s G. plicatus Sophie North

I know that Scotsgran already showed a picture of the 3 lovely snowdrops she purchased. Her is a close up of the flowers of my Sophie. As the song goes……Isn’t she lovely

I didn’t quite expect to pay as much as I did for 1 plant but suffice to say this beauty was 50% of my plant budget for the day. Mind you, she wasn’t the only plant I bought but those will have to wait until I have time to do another blog :)

I do hope you enjoyed this story and it would be nice to know if anyone else has been ‘moved’ into buying a plant. Thanks for reading.

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Lovely blog Scottish...and a very poignant story. :)

19 Feb, 2014


Planted a few 2 years ago in the green.They have flowered but not like the magnificent show in your blog.

19 Feb, 2014


The story was told to me some years ago and was all the more poignant to me personally as I had stayed in Dunblane only a short while previous to the tragedy.


19 Feb, 2014


How charming.........and such a beauty.

19 Feb, 2014


I have several 'memory' plants in my garden. Every spring they grow again. I remember the people who gave them to me, and give thanks for their influence on my life.

20 Feb, 2014


Dear Angie this has touched my heart again as it was so heartbreaking when happened to the children.

I still remember to this day.

So so sad ,but a lovely story and you have shared the memory with your stunning photos.

I would love to visit her garden .

Thank you for sharing the beauty.

Have added to favourites so I can keep looking back.

20 Feb, 2014


Thanks everyone, I'm glad you all appreciated me retelling the story behind the name. It's something we don't often think about.

20 Feb, 2014


lovely blog you i thought a snowdrop was just a sweet little flower that resembled (somewhat) snowdrops suspended in time (not dropping to ground)i had no idea of different markings etc... and now to know this story adds more thank you for sharing this known to others true story...
iam not sure if you ever saw the film war of the worlds but now the snowdrops i see along the grass verge in our village have opened and the three petals sit stretch out, they so remind of the shape of the little alien search light thing that came out of the space craft... wired!! lol
my appreciation for this bulbous plant grows..thx!

20 Feb, 2014


Thanks Jane. Glad you appreciated.
I've never seen the movie but kind of get the gist of what you are meaning.
If you google Galanthophile, there's tons of information out there on this obsession :)

20 Feb, 2014


okie dokie...will do....thx :-)

20 Feb, 2014


Yes I too have memory plants and trees, so pleased you enjoyed your day out Scottish, I think it would have been hard to resist buying a pot of the little snowdrops once the story had been told, it was so tragic what happened that day and I think its wonderful that this dainty little flower has been named in memory of the little girl.

20 Feb, 2014


A very touching story and a beautiful plant.

20 Feb, 2014


What an interesting story, and nice to know the proceeds are being sent to a good cause :o)

21 Feb, 2014

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