The gardening calendar, so full can make us a little impatient at this time of year when mother nature has been encouraged to rest.
For myself one of the more exciting times of the year has to be very late winter when the shoots of dormant herbaceous plants are starting to pop through the soil, buds on the deciduous shrubs are swelling, the flowers of Ribes in sheltered spots have already opened, early Daffodils and other Spring bulbs are in flower, just fantastic.
Another great moment which is now only a few weeks off has to be when the Snowdrops come in to bloom, lifting our spirits and reminding us that Spring is not too far off. Galanthus (Snowdrops) love a woodland setting, however, we are not all fortunate enough to have such an area for planting, and we can be reluctant to use our precious border space for flowering bulbs which will only be seen for several weeks of the year.
Do not despair an ideal spot for your winter gems is in your herbaceous border, planted between those dormant perennial plants. Come late Spring and Summer the foliage of your perennials will provide the required shade that snowdrops need.
The common variety G Nivalis has the simple charm loved by many. A double flowering form with green edged petals of this one is also available, G Nivalis Flore Pleno. Another which has also become a firm favourite is Sam Arnott rounded petals and sweetly scented this one multiplies and has proven to flower very well.
An important consideration when purchasing snowdrops is to never buy the dried bulbs, they usually prove to be unwilling to come out of dormancy. Buy them in the green, you will see tubs of these in the Garden Centres from early February till mid-March. When planting, separate them, plant individually about five inches deep and two inches apart, your bulbs will quickly multiply and give a fantastic show.