22nd February 2017

Snowdrops are gracing our gardens and parks, and this is the best time to buy and plant any of the many varieties- in the green. An excellent on-line nursery for them, which grows its own plants, has free p and p this week (on orders over £20.00- code PP420)- Ashridge Trees- great for edible hedges, fruit bushes and lots more, too. Unlike Daffodils, don’t dead-head Snowdropsants gather the seeds, plac them in their nurseries, where the emerging larvae feed on their sticky coating. The ant’s faeces help fertilise the intact seeds, which then grow into new plants in another part of the garden! Conditions: Blustery, with sunny intervals. Temperature: Max 10- Min 6C.

Snowdrop

Snowdrop

Snowdrops, Penhurst

Snowdrops, Penhurst

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22nd February 2015

Snowdrops seem to be having a brilliant year this year, in the garden and naturalised. There are 75 different varieties of this wonderful early spring flower, and they multiply over the years so are well worth planting. They do not grow well when bought as dry bulbs, but do if bought and planted ‘in the green’, or if divided up in this state

A longer-stemmed, more delicate variety than the normal Snowdrop, planted in a local graveyard

A longer-stemmed, more delicate variety than the normal Snowdrop, planted in a local graveyard

Penhurst Graveyard in Sussex is bright with Snowdrops right now

Penhurst Graveyard in Sussex is bright with Snowdrops right now

(that is, when the flowers have faded but the leaves are still alive). This is a slightly quicker and more effective way than the means of propagation I mentioned last spring- waiting for ants to do the job for you! Ants are attracted to the substance round Snowdrop seeds, carrying them off to provide food for their emerging young. The young eat the seed-coating and then the seeds develop, which helps the plant spread further afield. Conditions: Dry, followed by rain. Temperature: Max 5, Min 2c.