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Higher Cherubeer


For Jo Hynes snowdrops are not simply Wordsworth's 'venturous harbingers of spring' but food for her honey bees. In her garden at Higher Cherubeer near Winkleigh in north Devon she has around 400 species and cultivars.


Season:
Winter


Location:
Devon, UK


Credits:
GAP Photos/Carole Drake


Feature No:   3915 

Qty of Images:    68 

 
  
  
 
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Images available for use by license only.

 
Synopsis
For Jo Hynes snowdrops are not simply Wordsworth's 'venturous harbingers of spring' but food for her honey bees, some of which might be foraging for nectar on a sunny winter's day. In her garden at Higher Cherubeer near Winkleigh in north Devon she has around 400 species and cultivars. 'The bees would be happy with a garden full of common snowdrops but that wouldn't give the interest that all the different varieties bring, nor the sociability of plant swaps and snowdrop teas in the winter. It's great fun', says Jo. In limpid winter sunlight filtered through the papery boundary of a beech hedge big clumps of snowdrops gleam brightly, interspersed in places with patches of deep lipstick pink Cyclamen coum, their flowers held above marbled foliage. Jo's favourite snowdrops include vigorous, scented Galanthus 'S Arnott', delicate yellow 'Madeleine', strongly marked on its inner petals (technically tepals), and 'Trumps' and 'Trymposter', both 'good doers' with flaring, marked outer petals. Jo has even bred two of her own varieties by crossing Galanthus 'Wind Turbine'; named after her children both have flaring outer petals and distinctive markings. A self confessed collector Jo applied for National Collection status for her cyclamen, a scheme run by the charity Plant Heritage to conserve cultivated plants. 'It's a genus of just 23 species so it's manageable', explains Jo who recently went to Georgia with the Alpine Garden Society to see Cyclamen parviflorum growing wild. Holidays are often planned to see cyclamen in their native habitats: Israel for Cyclamen persicum and the south of France for C. balearicum for instance. Jo thinks hardy cyclamen are undervalued as garden plants and wishes more people would grow them. 'You can have cyclamen flowering 12 months of the year', she says. 'Starting with Cyclamen hederifolium in July and August and following on with cilicium, then coum, then pseudibericum, then repandum and finally purpurascens until you're back to hederifolium. They just need the shelter of deciduous trees and shrubs and good drainage because they all come from Mediterranean regions.' With their dainty magenta, pink or white flowers, some of which are scented, and heart shaped deep green leaves strikingly decorated with silvers and greys it's hard to disagree.

 

 

 
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