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Talkback: Snowdrops

Ah, I have a theory about galanthophile types. They seem to see in snowdrops what most of us see in people - variety. There's the large, showy type like "Colossus", the shy but dependable type like nivalis and nivalis flore-pleno with its pretty double flowers and the more studious ones with broader leaves like elwesii named after Henry Elwes. You find a great deal of gardening history even in the names of snowdrops. They flower usually, depending on the variety, from December to March but you can get ones that flower in Sept. There is a wonderful panorama of many species and varieties of snowdrops round Churchill Hall, a student residence in Bristol, interplanted with crocuses, gold,purple and white, which will turn anyone who sees it into a snowdrop-lover. It does not matter if it hurts to bend to see a flower more closely if you discover when you do it has just that streak of individuality that you love in your friends.


  • So looking forward to Monty returning to Gardeners World - having not been well recently and feeling very down - not being able to get onto my garden. I was browsing through GW magazine Feb 06 and came across Montys article - 'natural tonic' I followed his advice and how right he was - 10 minutes turned into an hour and I feel so much better and ready to start preparing for Spring! Thank you Monty
  • Sorry Adam that snowddrops don't 'rock your boat'. I think they are truly amazing and a wonderful sight at this time of year when little else is in flower. The ground is rock hard and one can hardly put a spade or fork in but somehow the little snowdrops have managed to push their way through.
  • I have always loved snowdrops and, like my namesake Anne, especially en masse. My favourites are the single nivalis ones (though I have other kinds) and they like my garden too. I've just spent a happy half hour moving some that had spread so far as to be in danger of getting walked on. What I love is their seeming fragility, and their way of enhancing what can be a bleak time of year. Love Anne's name for bluebells too - have lots!
  • How do I go about asking questions on here?
    I am wondering if it is too late to plant bulbs such as tulips......
  • We have literally hundreds of beautiful snowdrops and crocus flowering in the garden of our new house - however we have to move them for building works to go ahead next week!
    Can someone please advise how we can best manage this? Can we take out the bulbs now and keep them for replanting later in the year when we are replanting the garden? How can we store them without losing them?
    All assistance greatly appreciated!
  • I have several genus of bulbs,but i have not grown Galanthus.Every year I say that I am going to pant some,but aas,always forget to.This year though I am going to but some and do some twin-scaling on them!
  • I didn't really "get" snowdrops until I moved into a house where the garden (an old orchard) was absolutely full of them. There are thousands of them carpeting the ground - not fancy varieties, just the ordinary wild sort. They really are the harbingers of spring, and they flower when almost nothing else is out. It is the sheer quantity of them which is so cheering. I had also never realised that they had a scent (though you do have to get down close to smell it!) Their markings are subtle too, but very beautiful in an understated way.
    But I think that they do need to be grown in profusion (preferably naturalising) to be really stunning - rather like our native bluebells later in the year. I celebrate them as "Candlemas bells", their other traditional name, since they come out at Candlemas (Feb 2), which comes at the "cross-quarter day", halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, just when the lengthening days are starting to be noticeable. A cheering sign that winter is losing its grip! (hopefully...)
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