Snowdrops say 'Hello Spring'
TeamGIB member Mike Beckwith shares this lovely photo of the snowdrops in his garden, and gives some guidance on planting and growing this lovely cheerful plant
It's that time of year again that we can enjoy a carpet of white in our gardens as the Snowdrops (Galanthus) come into bloom. I took this picture in my garden today.
I have an Oak tree in my garden so I had to think carefully about what I could successfully plant underneath it. Bulbs of woodland plants, like Snowdrops, are perfect as they will flower, set seed and be dying down, prior to the Oak tree coming into leaf. I plant them around deciduous ferns, many of which will also tolerate the Summer shade and dryness that the tree causes, also not coming into leaf before the Snowdrops have died down.
You can buy Snowdrop bulbs to plant in the Autumn. Prepare the soil by enriching with leaf mould, if you can obtain it, I also add horticultural grit to help the drainage as the bulbs do not like to lay wet. Snowdrops are one of the more unusual bulbs in the sense that they can also be bought "in the green" (when in leaf) and successfully planted in small clumps. The plants seed well and quickly spread, so you can lift large clumps after flowering, divide them into small clumps and replant them to make their spreading even quicker.
There are many different varieties of Snowdrop, both single and double flowered, of varying heights and even with yellow flowers, if you don't think that is a step too far for a plant with snow in its name. For the rarer varieties, you can easily pay hundreds of pounds for just 0ne bulb.
Do share your photos of your signs of spring with us - we can't wait to see them.