This is the second in a series of posts encouraging you to plant the earliest-blooming flowers where the snow melts first. When it comes time to plant these flowers, you won’t remember where the snow melted first unless you take photos as it’s melting. If your snow is gone, write down what you can remember of the early-melting locations and use these suggestions if all else fails.
Snowdrops are tied with winter aconites for the prize of very-first-bloom. They usually emerge from the ground well before the aconites do, millimeter by millimeter, but won’t actually open their flowers until the temperature reaches 50°F. Winter aconites are jack rabbits by comparison, emerging and blooming in the space of twenty-four hours when conditions are right. Of course you should grow both!
Snowdrops have become quite the “it” flower and single bulbs of rare cultivars can go for breathtaking prices. But save your breath and your pocketbook and invest in the varieties that multiply quickly, such as those described below. Buy a few and pretty soon you’ll have enough to make a patch. And a patch will be visible from inside the house. Just sayin’.
The first snowdrops I ever got were given to me by a gardening friend. She had found them growing “in the wild,” presumably where a house had once stood. I later learned they were the common snowdrop, Galanthus nivalis, and they did very well for me.
I was content with these sweet little things until I found out there were other snowdrops that bloomed earlier.
For many years I was content with those three. But three years ago, I had a gift card for Brent and Becky’s Bulbs in my hand, and decided to order whatever snowdrops they sold that I didn’t already have.
Now I always check my usual bulb-shopping haunts for whatever snowdrops they may offer, never spending more on a single galanthus bulb than I would spend on a colchicum corm. (That’s my own personal rule to stave off galanthophilia.) In subsequent years I have added these snowdrops to my garden:
Maybe the differences in those snowdrops don’t seem different enough to you, but I enjoy picking out the details in each variety, especially when Spring moves at a slow pace, as it is doing this year. If you want to learn more about snowdrops, a good place to start is the Snowdrops in American Gardens Facebook group.
Other articles in this series