You may remember I bought 1,000 snowdrops, well a few weeks ago I planted them around my Indian Bean Tree (Catalpa bignonioides), since then I have been watering them with a mild feed every couple of days and look forward to seeing them encircle the tree next year. We can compare today’s photo with the one next year and see my success (except wet knees, that goes without saying).
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…