First For The Year

Galanthus nivalis - Snowdrops in snow - © Richard Bloom/GAP Photos

Galanthus nivalis – Snowdrops in snow – © Richard Bloom/GAP Photos

Is it any wonder that the sight of snowdrops valiantly pushing up through snow has warmed the cockles of so many hearts? The delicate white blooms, which open to reveal a tiny frill of fresh lime green, are one of Britain’s favourite flowers. In fact there is a special name for fans of these little troopers: . There’s a wide variety of Galanthus species to choose from. Some are scented, some have extra-large blooms and if you select them carefully you can have them in flower from Christmas through to March. If you’re new to growing snowdrops, Galanthus ‘S Arnott’ is a great starting point. Easy to grow, it readily forms clumps and has bold blooms. Like all snowdrops it fares best when planted ‘in the green’ (ie when still growing). Choose a spot in dappled shade and dig in plenty of leaf mould or compost to help the soil to conserve moisture. In their first year you’ll need to water plants regularly during any dry spells, but after that they should be relatively maintenance free. Simply weed if necessary and if clumps get too congested, lift them with a garden fork, divide carefully and plant new clumps at the same depth they were growing before.