Sophie North

Published: August 31, 2022


Many years ago in 1996, Scottish Rock Garden members were given the opportunity to purchase a very special Galanthus, which had been spotted by Dr Evelyn Stevens, in her garden in Dunblane. Dr Stevens named the snowdrop after her friends little girl, who had been one of the victims in the Dunblane Primary School tragedy.

I was one of the lucky members who did purchase a bulb and have treasured it ever since.

Having taught for many years, but to older children in a middle school. Each year I would pick a few of the snowdrops and take them to school with me -leaving them in a small vase on my desk, with an explanation as to why this snowdrop was very special.

Every year I would get the same questions, but from different children, even the children from previous years would ask around snowdrop time, if I was bringing my special snowdrop into school that year….they all remembered her, which was brilliant. All would ask, who she was, where was Dunblane, why did it happen and quite often if that was why schools now had much tighter security.

‘Sophie North'is a very distinctive snowdrop, with noticeable wide glaucus leaves. In my garden she is very slow to bulk up but I remain patient.

If we were to move house, she would be the first plant that I would lift and pot up ready to move with us.
I regard myself as fortunate that she is in my garden.

Maggie Duguid

Text and photos by Maggie Duguid, who is a member of the HPS North East Group.