In many places, including my back yard, snowdrops are one of the very first signs that Spring is on the way! I took a walk around the yard today, and I see a few other signs as well . . . the tips of my daffodils are poking out and turning bright green. There are even a few with buds. It won’t be long until the garden will be filled once again with crocus, tulips, grape hyacinth, and daffodils. For those who would like to know more about planting snowdrops in your garden . . .
Top Tips from the National Trust Gardeners
Common snowdrops are hardy and fairly easy to grow, so it’s not too difficult to create your own mini display at home. Here Jack Lindfield, Head Gardener at Ickworth gives some top tips for growing them:
There are so many beautiful species of snowdrop, but if you’re hoping to create an impressive swathe you can’t beat Galanthus nivalis. It’s the most common species because it self-seeds and spreads very quickly, which means you’ll get to enjoy your snowy white display sooner.
- Always buy pots of snowdrops ‘in the green’ – this means once they’ve finished flowering but while the leaves are still intact. This could be any time from mid-January to early March, so keep an eye out at your local garden centre or National Trust plant shop.
- Once you get your flowers home, plant them out as soon as possible. The best location is somewhere with partial shade such as under a tree, and with moist but well-drained soil. It’s worth adding some leaf mould or garden compost to the soil to ensure you’re giving the plants plenty of nutrients.
- Plant them at the same depth as they were previously grown – you can often see this where the leaf stalks change from white to green. If you can’t see the level clearly, then just plant the snowdrops around four inches deep, and if you bought multiple clumps then space them about six inches apart.
- Water the plants in, and then you can leave them alone – the foliage will die back and become food for the bulb, ready for next year’s display. Within a couple of years each clump will have grown to fill the gaps you left.
- As the years go by, you can help your snowdrops to spread by lifting and dividing any large clumps. Carefully dig up the clump and prize it apart with your hands into smaller chunks. Discard any diseased or dead bulbs, and then re-plant each new group six inches apart. Over time you’ll end up with a beautiful carpet of white flowers every spring.
Thanks to the National Trust for these gardening tips!
You might also enjoy this article from Lady Carnavon’s blog post about snowdrops. She and her husband are the owners of Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey was filmed. She posts wonderful thoughts about the estate and gardens each week. We loved our visit to Highclere Castle a few years ago!
Are you looking forward to Spring? Where Two Hearts Meet is a two-novella collection of Spring stories set in Princeton, NJ, featuring two sisters who own a teashop. They are contemporary inspirational romance stories that will warm your heart and lift your spirit. It’s avail able in paperback and eBook at this link.
Happy Reading and Gardening!