I absolutely love snowdrops, they are usually the first bulbs that show up at the beginning of the year, towards the end of bleak winter heralding spring by brightening hedges, lawns or gardens. I often marvel at how such a delicate plant manages to survive and break through the hard, sodden winter soil to yield such a beautiful display of flowers. I guess it’s easy to imagine why botanists decided to call these bulbs ‘snowdrops’, their bell shaped white flowers are truly beautiful , resembling drops of snow on a sea of green. Snowdrops are also quite varied in their appearance, with their flowers coming in an assortment of shapes and sizes, from single to double flowered varieties. Interestingly, not all snowdrop flowers are white, there are some varieties that are yellow.
The ones in my garden are single flowering white Galanthus nivalis a common variety initially planted by my father in-law. A few years ago after reading about lifting and dividing snowdrops I adventurously attempted this quite successfully in the garden. I have thereafter got my husband to plant some in the front of the house but they have suffered greatly from being trampled on so much. Much to my surprise they have come up this year, but the advice remains not to plant them in a location where they are likely to be trampled on. I seem to be amassing my own collection as last year I managed to wangle a few from my father in law which I planted in the lawn in my back garden.
Last week I ordered over sixty snowdrops in the ‘green’ and they were delivered. Planting in the green means rather planting the snowdrops with the leaves just before or after flowering rather than bulbs that are done for other plants like daffodils and tulips. This way the snowdrops fare better.
The weather has been particularly harsh in the last two weeks but thankfully there was a window of mild weather just before storm Doris hit us this week and I was able to plant my snowdrops last weekend. As snowdrops like to be left on their own, they are best planted in a place that they can remain undisturbed except you plan to divide the clumps and spread around your garden. Again, it’s a good idea to leave them for a few years before attempting to lift and divide the clumps. Also, don’t lift all at once, do it in little bits every year. Why do I love snowdrops? That’s an easy answer really, seeing snowdrops remind me that my least favourite season is almost over and spring is just around the corner. I guess you can say the same about life. No season lasts forever, a new season is always around the corner so persevere.