If you love Snowdrops and grow a ‘collection’ - you can officially name yourself a Galanthophile! Even more so if you are able to identify different varieties.
Snowdrops (Galanthus) really are the most gorgeous of sights towards the end of winter and into early spring. The green foliage and pretty white flowers withstand the snow, freezing temperatures and still carry on bobbing their heads in the breeze. Particular varieties are coveted and rare, which actually provoked a bidding war for Galanthus woronowii 'Elizabeth Harrison’ which was eventually sold for £725 to Thompson and Morgan.
Some years ago, I had the absolute privilege of visiting a private garden getting prepared to open for the National Garden Scheme. The owners ha d the most wonderful collection of Snowdrops including ‘Grumpy’, ‘Trumps’ and the lovely, rare yellow tinged ‘Spindlestone Surprise’.
Growing Snowdrops is pretty easy, although generally they do grow best when planted ‘in the green’ during spring. Meaning, after flowering when the foliage is still green. Bulbs dry out super quickly so planting ‘in the green’ helps them to retain moisture to establish better. As they grow in woodlands, they tolerate light shade and ideally need well drained soil. If you plant the small bulbs make sure they are given some protection from wildlife who like to dig them up!
Snowdrops grow beautifully with other flowering bulbs such as Eranthis hyemalis (Winter Aconites) and Hellebores (Helleborus orientalis) and they naturalise really well if kept moist and protected from wildlife digging them up, especially before they have established properly. In pots the gorgeous white flowers shine like little bulbs if planted with Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens' (Black Mondo Grass).
So, it won’t be long before you can pick up your Snowdrops to plant out for an uplifting display next year.
To read more about Ellen Mary, you can find her on social media and on her website - https://www.ellenmarygardening.co.uk/