Saturday, 4 February 2012

The forecast is for snow(drops)

The Met office is predicting snow but so far we've not seen a snowflake. But, that doesn't mean we don't have some white stuff in the garden. 

Always reliable and always beautiful the snowdrops are up and in full flower.

The trouble with snowdrops is they don't look good from above. You really have to get down on your knees to see how beautiful they are.

Snowdrops are not so impressive from above 

Snowdrops are often planted 'in the green'

I planted them in the garden back in February 2009. I bought them "in the green" which is just after they have flowered. Of course this means you won't see any snowdrop flowers until the following year. 

You have to get them planted pretty quickly as they need to get their roots back in the soil and start building up reserves in their small bulbs.

Small clump of snowdrops by the path

They are so white, that even at night I can see them lighting up the way along the garden path.

Galanthus Nivalis around 10-15cm tall
These are the common snowdrop - Galanthus Nivalis. Galanthus is from the Greek gala (milk) and anthos (flower).

This is a good one for the beginner as it is easy to grow and not too expensive. I bought 500 for £40. That might seem a lot but remember they are very small.

Snowdrops contain an active substance called galantamine, (or galanthamine), which can be helpful in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, though it is not a cure.

edging the path

Our snowdrops edge both sides of the path and once they are done and summer arrives, the chives will start to break the surface and take over.

soon the chives will take over
If you are keen to start your own collection of snowdrops I'd start with the common snowdrop (Galanthus Nivalis) as they are not too expensive. But, if you get hooked you may want to research the different varieties there are on offer. The book below by Gunter Waldorf explains everything you need to know about the cultivation and propagation of snowdrops. There are over 300 varieties of snowdrops in the book - each one photographed in their natural environment, to help you start your collection.

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