Head Gardener, Richard Harmes and Melissa Sweetland
Melissa enjoys sweet success after winning ‘name the snowdrop’ comp
Myddelton House Garden’s very own Melissa Sweetland is celebrating after winning the ‘name the snowdrop’ competition with her suggestion ‘Bowles Gemini’.
The gardening team threw down the gauntlet when they challenged the public to come up with a name for a new variety of snowdrop found at Myddelton House Gardens.
Melissa duly took up the challenge and wowed judges with her suggestion, which perfectly captured the aesthetics of the flower and paid tribute to E.A Bowles himself.
Melissa said, ‘‘I’m delighted to have won. I’ve worked alongside the gardens for eight years and to know my name will now become part of horticultural history is a very special feeling.’’
The new variety, Galanthus 'Bowles Gemini' will now be registered under its new name via a rather complex horticultural procedure called twinscaling.
Head gardener Richard Harmes said, ‘‘The name Gemini means twins and as the variety has two identical flowers growing from a single stem, we thought it suited it perfectly.
‘‘The discovery of this new variety helps to strengthen our reputation as a distinguished Snowdrop garden which in turn, will attract many of those with an interest. It is always fascinating to find a new variety of plant of any species. When we think of the extent plant hunters would go to discover new plants in the wild, E.A Bowles being one of them, it is refreshing to think that new varieties are being formed naturally right here in the gardens of Myddelton House.’’
The competition was launched ahead of this year’s Ultimate Snowdrop Sale which took place on Saturday 18 January and saw more than 200 visitors attend.
Richard paid tribute to all those who made the event possible, stating, ‘‘It was great to have so many volunteers give up their Saturday morning to help out. It wouldn’t be possible to do these sort of events without them. Also a special thanks to the staff who helped out and to Leanne and her team in the Tea Tooms who got up particularly early to look after our visitors by ensuring that refreshments were available. It’s also always important to remember that without getting people here these type of events just wouldn’t be worthwhile, so thanks to the comms team in getting the word out there.’’