The antirrhinum is a very under-rated plant in my opinion. Not that I’m an expert. I think my grandad used to grow them and apart from that and an attempt at a previous house to grow some and save the seeds (the cat decided to lie on the seeds as they were drying in the spare bedroom) I have little experience of them.

I’ve certainly never planted any here in the last 14 years, and yet the garden is full of them. It all started a few years ago when a single plant just ‘appeared’ at the back of the house, I assume a rogue seed had blown in from somewhere. From that one plant there are now dozens dotted around the garden of all colours.

Last Autumn I collected the seeds from a particularly nice yellow one and sowed them this Spring with no success. Yet I see they can germinate freely unaided and no amount of hard frosts or cold winters seem to hold them back.

The colours are varied, but my favourites are the yellow ones and the deep red ones. So, there we are, don’t under estimate the humble snapdragon.


There’s even poetry.

Into the Dragon’s mouth he goes;
Never afraid is he!

There’s honey within for him, he knows,
Clever old Bumble Bee!

The mouth snaps tight; he is lost to sight–
How will he ever get out?

He’s doing it backwards — nimbly too,
Though he is somewhat stout!

Off to another mouth he goes;
Never a rest has he;

He must fill his honey-bag full, he knows —
Busy old Bumble Bee!

And Snapdragon’s name is only a game —
It isn’t as fierce as it sounds;

The snapdragon Elf is pleased as punch
When Bumble comes on his rounds!