Irish snowdrops

Discover a collection of snowdrops that has an emphasis on Irish cultivars. 


Coosheen, a garden on the edge of Cork city in the south of Ireland, is sheltered from the salty-winds whipping off the Atlantic by a boundary of beech hedging. Inspired by visits to the Dublin garden that formerly belonged to the author and horticulturist Helen Dillon, garden owner Hester Forde combines bulbs with perennials, evergreens and grasses. Her passion for collecting snowdrops has created a garden that draws you out, even on the coldest of winter days.

Snowdrop collecting in Ireland derived from naturally occurring hybrids found in gardens around the country. Once nurtured and bulked up, they were shared among passionate gardeners and it is only recently that many of them have become available commercially. Cicely Hall, who had a snowdrop named after her, amassed a noted collection that is now maintained by her son Robin at Primrose Hill Garden in Lucan, Co Dublin, while at Altamont Gardens, Co Carlow, Corona North enriched her collection with hybrids she collected from abandoned demesnes.

Here are just a few examples of some of these special Irish cultivars, grown by Hester Forde at Coosheen. 

Top row, from left to right

Galanthus ‘Straffan’
G. ‘Hill PoĆ«’
G. ‘Brenda Troyle’
G. ikariae ‘Emerald Isle’

Middle row

G. plicatus ‘Woodtown’
G. ‘Waverley’ seedling
G. ‘Mark’s Tall’

Bottom row

G. ‘Cicely Hall’
G. ‘Blaris’
G. ‘Waverley Aristocrat’
G. ‘Green Lantern’






Address 15 Johnstown Park, Glounthaune, Cork, T45CC42, Ireland.
Tel +353 (0)86 865 4972.
Open Coosheen is open on selected days during February. From May to September, the garden is open to groups, by appointment.


Photographs Jason Ingram

Words Annie Gatti

This article was taken from a longer garden feature on Irish snowdrops in the February issue of Gardens Illustrated (257). 



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