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Book Bullet: Snowdrops by Gunter Waldorf

41uUUM2laKL._SS500_For a long time we’ve needed a book on snowdrops that most people can actually afford. The classic reference - a fine work though it is - is priced at £60/$103 so this little book, at a quarter of the price, is appealing for that reason alone.

The heart of this small format title is the series photographs of 300 different snowdrops. They are mostly in close up, mostly excellent though small, and the overall effect is very attractive. Some fail to show the feature that distinguishes the variety, but I’m looking forward to testing it against a couple of unknowns in the garden.

Each picture is accompanied by a few lines of text which varies from very useful to adequate to downright bizarre: “A snowdrop photographed in England, for which there is as yet no description available.” Errr… You took the picture, can’t you describe the plant?

The issues addressed in the text accompanying the images vary from plant to plant and while the layout of the book allows four short lines of text to each plant, many have only three, or even two, lines of text. Strange, when there’s so more to say about all of them.

In places the translation from the German is clunky, and not all the botanical oddities are attributable to the translation. To illustrate a plant, give it a name, then say that the name is going to be changed is not helpful.

However, having said all that, it will certainly appeal to many gardeners as their first book on snowdrops.

Snowdrops by Gunter Waldorf is published by Frances Lincoln
  • Attractive presentation, with many appealing photographs
  • A useful start at an affordable price
  • Needed editing by a literate, botanically minded editor
  • American snowdrop enthusiasts not considered – but they will still find it useful.


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Snowdrops are an essential part of the winter garden, one of the earliest flowers to bloom in late winter and giving cheer on even the darkest days.Well,this book on snowdrops might be quite interesting!

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