Posted by: travelrat | February 6, 2008



I do believe I’ve invented a new word! The botanical name of the snowdrop, about which I posted last week, is galanthus, and I witnessed ‘galanthomania’ when I went down to Heale Gardens on Sunday to see their display of snowdrops, and other spring flowers. I arrived just after they opened at ten o’clock, and, when I left just after mid-day, the car park was full, and they were directing cars into an adjacent field.

Galanthomania … I think you may have read it here first! Yes … that is a Japanese lantern you see in the picture. The ‘Japanese Garden’ was laid out by a former Ambassador to Tokyo. The other picture is of the ‘Snowdrop Walk’, of which the owner of Heale House is rightly proud.

Yesterday was ‘Mardi Gras’, where, in many places around the world, they party like there was no tomorrow, before getting down to six weeks’ serious self-denial for Lent.

Most of us have heard of the extravagant celebrations in Rio, New Orleans and Venice … and I’ve seen the ‘Karneval’ celebrations in Germany.

Back in the Middle Ages, it was said that, on a certain day, German ladies used to invite any passing pilgrims, soldiers of fortune, pedlars, travelling salesman or visiting firemen to make a contribution to the gene pool. The paternity of any child born nine months afterwards wasn’t too closely questioned. Urban myth says, in certain parts of Germany, this is still practised!

And, in Britain … they eat pancakes!! Sad, or what!?

8th February 2008

Since I posted this item two days ago, the Daily Mail published an article about a current craze for snowdrops. They didn’t call it galanthomania, though … but they did use the word galanthophile for collectors and gardeners who are prepared to pay up to £50 for the right kind of bulb. They likened the phenomenon to the Netherlands’ tulpenwoerde of the 17th Century … see my Netherlands page for details of this.

Or, you can read the snowdrop story at


  1. I think I am a galanthomaniac. Snowdrops rule!

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