Anyone who knew Angela Jupe, the late landscape architect and garden maker, will remember her particular love of snowdrops, or Galanthus, as this genus of dainty bulbous perennials is properly known.
Before her sudden death in 2021 at the age of 77, the founder of the GLDA (Garden & Landscape Designers Association), former board member of the RHSI (Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland) and master plantsperson, had accumulated a collection of more than 300 distinct varieties. She grew these in the extensive gardens and woodlands surrounding her restored Georgian farmhouse, Bellefield House, in rural Offaly. Many were rarities sourced from specialist nurseries abroad, while others such as “Kildare”, “Hill Poë”, “Castlegar” and “Keith Lamb”, were heritage Irish varieties that she helped to popularise.
Among them were a handful, such as “Jupe’s Bell” and “Hugo Purdue”, which she and gardening friends had discovered growing in the grounds of the many old or ruined properties, that she regularly visited on the hunt for forgotten cultivars and distinct new varieties.
Jupe had also begun writing a book about Irish snowdrops, the unfinished manuscript found among her personal papers after her death, alongside her substantial research on the subject.
Famously driven, dynamic and full of ambitious plans to the end, her lifelong love of plants, discerning eye and enthusiasm for garden-making was legendary, nurtured from a very early age by her aunt Ruby. It was the latter who gave the very young Jupe handfuls of ripe peaches to eat that were freshly picked from her own walled garden in Tipperary, a formative experience that Jupe once told me first ignited her passion for gardening as a small child. Ruby also regularly broughtRead more on irishtimes.com