JOHN’S JOURNAL

The Welcome Sight of the Snowdrops

Despite the blustery wet weather it’s lovely to see the welcome return of the Snowdrops, signalling the start of the gardening year with their pure white flowers and it’s always a moment I reminisce back to later on in the season as all of a sudden everything else begins to Spring into action and it’s always the first sign that the cogs of nature are whirring away and Spring is just around the corner.

After standing up our little A-board on the roadside the other day I spotted the Snowdrops there with their cheery white flowers and they look especially beautiful when seen en masse in woodlands and on bankings, naturally seeding their way to forming carpets of pure white bell like flowers. It’s something you can easily replicate in your garden as well, whether it be starting your collection with pot grown plants or knowing a friendly neighbour who can share some with you it’s nearly time to begin thinking about planting them, they love being divided whilst in the green unlike many other bulbs which can be done in the Autumn, half of the benefit lies with the fact that you know where to find them now rather than trying to hunt around in the Autumn. They also like to be in groups so if you do lift established clumps always divide them into generous lumps, and don’t be tempted to cut off the old seed heads either as these will develop into viable seeds helping increase your collection.

They thrive in shady or sunny positions and they thrive under trees in a woodland situation as by the time the soil dries out in the Summer they are lying dormant with all their energy for the following Spring stored up inside their bulbs ready. They are also very low maintenance in terms of their nutrient requirements, in the garden feed them along with everything else as similar to Daffodils in nature they get fed by the rotting matter of the leaves and foliage around them giving them a balanced diet leading to them having the energy to produce lots of flowers.

There are more than 2500 different varieties of Snowdrops including many which are native to the UK, some of them fetch into the hundreds of pounds per bulb and there are many Snowdrop collectors out there, the differences are very slight and always look out for snowdrop days at large houses and estates as these share some of the best displays in the country.

At the nursery we’re busy preparing for the Spring months ahead and also making the most of the wet blustery days getting organised behind the scenes, it’s an exciting time of year and a great chance to get ahead of things so make the most of the drier days in your garden and get one step ahead getting the garden nice and tidy ready for the upward turn in the weather.

 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Here you can send in and find out the answers to those gardening problems

 

Can Snowdrops grow in pots?

Yes they can and they thrive in a loamy soil with organic matter so a mix of John Innes No.3 mixed with some leaf mould is ideal, that’s rotted down leaves from the compost heap which are more than a year old, they look perfect and beautifully dainty in small terracotta pots topped off with Sphagnum moss, perfect for a windowsill or on an outdoor table

 

What would you feed Snowdrops with?

A good general feed like Vitax Q4 would be perfectly good as it has a good balance of trace elements giving them the energy for everything they need. They aren’t the hungriest of plants so they’ll only need a little and the best time to feed them is after flowering in early March along with your other garden plants

 

Is it illegal to dig up wild snowdrops?

Digging up or picking Snowdrops or any other wildflowers is illegal unless you have the landowners permission. Some wild plants are specifically protected by law and can’t even be dug up with the land owners permission so it’s always worth checking first.

 

JOBS FOR THE WEEKEND

 

 

Plant of The Week

Galanthus nivalis

The most common of all snowdrops and beautiful in every way, great vigour and very profuse in its flower, it’s a great one to start with. Readily growing from seed it will soon produce a nice carpet of white flowers in any garden or setting.