First signs of spring come early for a veteran Bicester gardener

Harry Rose of Bicester with his early snowdrops.'121219M-F816
Harry Rose of Bicester with his early snowdrops.'121219M-F816

A Bicester resident used a closely-guarded technique to cultivate a crop of snowdrops in time for Christmas.

Harry Rose, 96, of King’s End, got around 100 snowdrops to bloom in his garden last week.

Mr Rose will not reveal his secret, but says he grows snowdrops in memory of his late wife, who always liked to see the flowers in time for the festive season.

Snowdrops usually come into bloom between January and March, but Mr Rose says he has got them to flower as early as October.

Mr Rose, who served in North Africa and Europe during the Second World War, said: “I get them to come up every year, but sometimes it’s even earlier.

“I would always grow them for Christmas when my wife was alive.”

The perennial flowers, also known as Candlemas Bells, come in more than 100 varieties.