It was a cold November day, at 2:00 PM on a Saturday, when the Galanthus elwesii var. monostictus opened for a few of Nancy Goodwin’s Gardening Friends at Montrose. In all, there were three groups of about 10 who toured.
As we trickled in over a 20 minute period, groups were formed and led away.
Craufurd Goodwin greeted our group along with Cathy as our guide, bringing up the rear. Nancy and Cheryl had gone ahead, leading the other groups.
This was my 5th visit to Montrose, my second time when there were no leaves on the trees. During spring and fall visits, there was gaiety in the visiting gardener’s voices. High chatter with a festive air. During this visit, the tones were hushed; silent almost. No idle chit-chat; the expectation of what we were about to see was treated with a degree of reverence. We weren’t told to act any certain way, it just occurred naturally. It’s not everyday one can witness ten thousand Galanthus nodding in the woods.
I’m not certain of the exact number, nor is Nancy. They grow in the woods in multiple areas, with one area about 300 feet long. This is not a sight many have seen. Indeed, even locals have only been able to see these for the second time. This is their second blooming. I missed last year for some reason, I can’t remember. I can promise you though, if I had seen these in bloom, I would have remembered what I was doing that day.
After our 45 minute walk in the woods, we were led to the building that was once the law office at the home of 19th century NC Governor William Alexnder Graham. Treated to cookies, cider, and toasted pecans grown on the Goodwin’s pecan trees, cracked by Nancy’s hands and cooked to perfection with butter and salt at 275 degrees F for 30 minutes. While I can duplicate the temperature and time, there is no duplication of the nut and ambiance where they were eaten.
Nancy enjoys a winter garden, as do I. We are so fortunate to have something in bloom all year long. Nancy just so happens to multiple what most of us can do by 10,000.
Enjoy the November sightings!