I love bulbs (not as much as I love trees), they can be planted and forgotten and happily come up year after year and surprise you. I especially love those that fight through the winter months and poke their heads up in the new year; crocuses, muscari and, of course, snowdrops.
I have so many bulbs (later tulips, gladioli, fritallaria – of course probably a few too many narcissi) that I often find that wherever I dig I find one, but then, I just move it and have continued to spread the beauty around the garden. I like the bulbs mixing with each other and in between other plants, so happily find that near the end of a day’s gardening I have a bucket of bulbs ready to be replanted somewhere else.
Anyway, on to the snowdrops. I love snowdrops planted in the grass, as they can flower and start dying back before I need to mow, but the question I was asked the other day is “how many snowdrops makes a good patch?”
I guess the obvious answer would be “as many as you can afford”, but happily they multiply and spread over the years, so I guess have a look at your neighbours and see what you like then decide how long you can wait. I tend to find in my garden that snowdrops double in number (and flower) in around 4 years, don’t forget a little bit of food as they die back and perhaps you’ll do even better, sometimes you can find a singleton has produced a new friend even on year two.
But how many make a nice spread? I have to admit that a single snowdrop looks rather sad to me, so I’m not likely to spread them around so widely that they look like individual white spots on the lawn. I recommend that you should plant a block of at least ten at a time, but definitely the more, the merrier.
This photo contains around 150 flowering snowdrops and I have four similar patches around the garden, but it is never enough. So, I just bought another 1,000 bulbs online for 60UKP, come on that’s only 6p each, plant once and you’ll never regret it – that will easily make another 5 or 6 big patches that will continue to spread in future years.
To plant them I simply get a normal-sized spade and dig two sides of a triangle down to around 12Cm or 4 inches and peel the lawn back, throw in a few bulbs and push the grass back – “’tis but the work of a moment”.
Can’t wait for them to arrive…