Snowdrops or Galanthus are a popular spring plant which flowers from January to March in Britain and I was lucky enough to see some in our community garden this morning, when I had an absolutely gorgeous walk in the sunshine on route to get The Times.
I live in quite an old house built circa 1840, and the street was definitely built for horse and cart, not for the modern automobile! That said, a dear friend of mine, Linda Vellacott, now sadly passed, battled hard for bollards to put at the bottom of the street, so that cars could be kept clear, and the garden there, with bench, is lovely, very informal, and great for the many kids here to play safely.
The Victorians were fascinated by this flower, for them it symbolised hope. Paradoxically, it also symbolized death because it grew near to the bare earth and was therefore associated with those who were buried.
Although it was said to be unlucky to bring a single bloom into a house it was acceptable to bring in a bunch of snowdrops or grow them in a bowl. In contrast, if snowdrops grow happily in your garden, particularly under the windows, the household will be a happy one.
This pure white flower was also the symbol of purity and virginity this led to chaste young ladies discouraging their over ardent suitors by carrying the flowers on their person.