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Monday, 9 February 2009

Snowdrops early signs of Spring

Snowdrops early signs of Spring
A sure sign that the year has turned and early indicator that spring is on the way, is the blooming of the snowdrop (Galanthus). It is commonly thought of as a native wildflower of the British Isles, but it is widespread across the temperate parts of Europe and indeed is thought to have been introduced to Britain in the sixteenth century.
Snowdrops emerge through the snow

Snow covers a Royal mail postbox Snowdrops peek through a blanket of snow
The varieties of snowdrop most likely to be found here in North Hampshire are the common snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) and the Crimean snowdrop (Galanthus plicatus) the bulbs of which were brought back by soldiers so taken with the flower during the Crimean war. Both varieties flower from mid January until around mid March.
Snowdrops bask in the early Spring sunshine
  This year has turned and early Spring snowdrops abound. They are very easy to grow and are readily available here in Britain from garden centres or online. Snowdrops are prone to drying out and the bulbs withering so don't wait to long to plant your bulbs when they arrive. It should also be noted that they don't do so well in countries or regions which have dry warm climates. The best time to buy and plant your bulbs is in the Autumn. If you want to split and divide any existing clumps you have, then the best time to do this is in the Spring. Lift the bulbs when the flowers are over and the leaves are just beginning to yellow.
Snowdrops carpet an Ancient English woodland floor
Plant them in a shaded, well drained location to a depth of 8-10cm (approx. 4in) and about the same distance apart. Make sure you don't put them in to deep as they will rot. Over time snowdrops will clump and naturalise by offset. That is to say the mother bulb produces more bulbs attached to it which gradually spread out. Over a number of years these clumps will become dense so you can lift and split the bunches to aid spreading or put them in other parts of your garden.
Snowdrops among the leaves in native woodland
Winter here in the UK has decided not to leave without one more icy blast and we have had heavy snow. But you can be sure the little snowdrops are hiding under the white blanket ready to make a cheerful appearance as the ice melts. To find places in Britain that have snowdrop gardens open to the public follow this link:See Snowdrops around Britain
The delicate flower of the pure white snowdrop
General discussion and your views are welcome please say hello. I regret however because of my busy schedule, I am unable to answer many questions. Sneaky advertising will be deleted sorry. Thanks so much for visiting my blog today


Barbarapc said...

so wonderful to see the snow drops actually blooming under the snow. They are one of our first bulbs - but we'll have to wait until April (maybe March if it stays this warm)for their blossoms.

simon tinks davis said...

Hi Barbara,they are really flowering well now the snow is melting. Hope you have a good show with yours in March/April. Simon

Sydney Plumber said...

Excellent blog post....Great work keep it up!

simon tinks davis said...

Hi Sydney, thanks so much for your comment I'm glad you have enjoyed reading it. I am also pleased to say most of the snow has melted and the snowdrops are just amazing.
Kind regards, Simon

Brenda said...

We have them here in the US, too. Seeing them in bloom, after several really heavy snowstorms, really made my day yesterday! This is my first visit to your blog, but I will be back.

simon tinks davis said...

Thankyou for your kind words Brenda, I'm glad the snowdrops made your day. Yes please do come back and see me soon, you are very welcome. Kind regards, Simon