I chanced across the January edition of Country Living magazine 2019 which had an interesting gardening article about snowdrops called ‘The Star of Hope’ by Kane Fitzpatrick and Jennifer Harmer.
Snowdrops became a symbol of hope and spring after the difficult winter conditions of the first winter of the Crimean War. They were to the Crimea what the Poppy and the Cornflower (les bleuets) are to the First World War.
I didn’t get a chance to keep the print article which is available online here on Pressreader https://www.pressreader.com/uk/country-living-uk/20190101/281573766758756 but did some further web research:
“There are nearly 20 wild snowdrop species, spread over Europe but with their heartland in Turkey, and from these about 700 cultivated varieties have been developed … Many of them have been in Britain since the 19th century; one wild species which came from Russia’s Crimea, Galanthus plicatus, was probably brought back by soldiers returning from the Crimean War.”
“There is also a connection with the Crimean War. Unlike the poppy’s association with the blood spilt in the First World War the purity of the snowdrop enchanted the soldiers bogged down in Crimea (1853-1856). The flowers heralded spring on the battlefield. Many survivors brought the bulbs back to plant in their gardens.”
Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, 9 December 2019