Picture Profile 2209: Galanthus Queen Olga (Galanthus reginae-olgea).

In January 2022, the Iceni Botanical Artists, IBA (of which I am a member, and Chair from November 2021–), decided that their next botanical project would be to paint a year of the flora and fauna in Fullers Mill Garden, West Stow, Suffolk, designed and planted by Bernard Tickner and his wife, Bess. It was decided that it should be a two-year project and completion of all artworks was set for 1st January 2024.

Annie Delbridge, head gardener (with permission from the Charity Perennial who now look after the garden) supplied the IBA with a list of plants which grow in the garden and the animals, birds, insects, fish etc., which live in or visit the garden. Iceni Artists have been free to choose which plants, vistas and fauna they would like to depict and it is hoped that we will hold an exhibition of all the artworks, as well as publishing a book with a selection of paintings.

My main task for the project is to paint 11 snowdrops – some rare, some not so, and others which are different, for example, white and yellow flowers and parts, rather than white and green.

Artist Code 2209. Galanthus Queen Olga (Galanthus reginae-olgea). Water colour on Aquarelle Arches 100% cotton paper 140lb. 10″ x 14″. Completed 12th December 2022

This painting is the first of the 11 snowdrops which is the earliest flowering of the year. You will notice on the left that, amongst the leaves which grow November-December, the seed heads have developed—the flowers being long gone. It was nice to be able to depict the bulbs as well, but some of the plants amongst the 11 are quite rare so this will not be possible in those instances.

“Queen Olga” DETAILS:

Other names: Queen Olga’s snowdrop, Autumn snowdrop, Galanthus nivalis subsp. reginae-olgae, Galanthus corcyrensis

Galanthus reginae-olgae has revolute leaves that are dark green with a central silver line and when fully grown are 11–15 cm long by 3–8 mm wide. Its flowers have three larger outer tepals, pure white, and three smaller inner tepals, white with variable green markings near the tips. The outer tepals are about 15–35 cm long, the inner ones 9–12 mm long.

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