Snowdrops of Camelot
We are approaching the arrival of snowdrops. The earliest snowdrops are already here – such as those in the Donkey Field at Uphill. But in this post I wanted to focus on the snowdrops of the parish of Camelot.
Flower of Life and Death
Snowdrops bring a spark of new life to the English countryside. In doing so they mark the beginning of the end of winter. The small brave pearls emerge into a very cold world. Frost, snow and freezing weather do their worst but snowdrops still manage to return each year.
How do they spread across the countryside when it is too cold for pollinating insects? The answer for most is to spread as bulbs that divide underground. A few flies and bees do visit the flowers, then their stems collapse to the ground to sow their seeds just a few inches away.
So most snowdrops in Somerset have not spread naturally but were planted. Sometimes this was centuries ago and so they have spread out along valleys and field edges. Most were planted in churchyards where they were linked with death.
I do not want to believe in the myths associating them with death. Instead, I enjoy the life of these delicate little pearls. Just do not ask be to bring one into the house.
There are lots of places to see snowdrops in Somerset. Some grow in down valleys, some in large estates, but to me the best are in small village churchyards.
Camelot is not just a famous silly place but a group of nine parishes, with ten churches, in South Somerset.
- Bratton Seymour
- South Cadbury
- Compton Pauncefoot
- North Cadbury
- North Cheriton
Some are better for snowdrops than others…
The Church of St Michael in Blackford is my favourite snowdrop location.
There are three villages called Blackford in Somerset. This one is in South Somerset, and not near Wedmore or Minehead.
There are lots of snowdrops on flat ground open to the low winter sun making it wonderful for photography.
The Church of St Nicholas sits high on a ridge with long views towards Alfred’s Tower.
In the church is a patch of snowdrops, and others can be seen in the gardens across the village.
The church in this small village has very few snowdrops, on one occasion I could only find a single flower. However, around the nearby roads there are plenty to find.
Maperton church has a wonderful display of snowdrops.
From a steep bank close to the church to those higher up the hill around the more recent graves.
Not many snowdrops here, but later in the year there is a large display of daffodils.
Like most of South Somerset this tiny village is deep in the countryside.
No snowdrops here but it does have a good display of primroses.
Snow but no snowdrops at Galhampton.
I have visited this church several times, and there is a good display of snowdrops. Sadly, I no longer have any of those pictures.
At the top of the village on a steep hill is this very English church. All around the village are patches of snowdrops.
A little hidden village with a small collection of snowdrops and crocus flowers.