The Festival is proud to have Dan Pearson, an RHS Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal winner as Patron.
"I am delighted to be a patron of Shepton Snowdrop Festival. I have been developing my own collection of snowdrops in the last ten years or so with gifts originally given to me by Mary Keen which spurred the real interest. I now find myself with seventy or so varieties, but even so I do consider myself still to be an amateur galanthophile!"
"Without fail, the early emergence of snowdrops will have me on my hands and knees, rummaging for their new life. Although I like the winter and do not want to rush it, the galanthus are important for their precociousness which, like a flare going off, announces with pristine surety that there is now a tilt towards growth."
One of Dan Pearson’s favourites, Galanthus ‘Magnet’, with its dancing flowers on extra long pedicels, is one of just two varieties remaining from James Allen’s original collection of more than a hundred varieties. Sadly a fungal infection of Botrytis followed by an attack of narcissus fly put a serious blight on his snowdrop collection and destroyed all but two varieties, Galanthus ‘Magnet’ and ‘Galanthus Merlin’.
In an article for The Garden in January 1886 James Allen described putting together his collection: “For the past seven or eight years I have paid special attention to Snowdrops, and by purchasing, exchanging, and the kindness of generous amateurs, I think I possess every variety now in cultivation .I am constantly purchasing from fresh sources, and then making seedlings when in bloom.”
James Allen is widely recognised as one of the greatest galanthophiles but he too experienced the successes and disappointments that many fellow plant enthusiasts will recognise today when he said: “In raising seedlings of snowdrops one meets with many disappointments.” At the same time, like many gardeners, he had intense pleasure from watching his seedlings grow. He said “when you are once in the swim” time passes from one season to another.
Amanda Hirst, one of the Shepton Snowdrops directors and organisers of the Festival said:
“We are thrilled to have Dan Pearson as our patron. There are some wonderful synergies between his description of his own snowdrop journey and that of James Allen, the inspiration behind our Snowdrop Festival. He too was an amateur galanthophile and it's fascinating that each should have embarked as amateurs on a love affair with snowdrops with such huge enthusiasm and great curiosity.”
Dan Pearson, our Patron
Shepton Snowdrops and the Festival is organised by the
not for profit community organisation,
Shepton Mallet Snowdrop Project CIC.
Registered in England. Company No 12059138.
Registered Office, Allways, West Shepton, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, BA4 5UH.
Site Background snowdrop photograph
James Allen's Galanthus Magnet
Logo snowdrop photograph
James Allen's Galanthus Merlin