By the time late winter rolls around, we can’t help but look for any sign of spring coming around the corner; the slight lengthening of days, the hint of leaf buds beginning to swell, any signs of flowers peeking up from the ground—and suddenly, there they are… Snowdrops!
Snowdrops are one of the first flowers to appear in the garden. Galanthus (from the Greek words “gala” meaning milk and “anthos” meaning flower) produce little, white, bell-shaped flowers that typically appear before the vernal equinox (March 20 or 21 in our region), making this a true winter bloom, often pushing their way up right through the snow. Snowdrops are hardy herbaceous plants that grow between 4”-6” in height, whose bulbs naturalize easily to form large drifts. They spread rapidly by forming bulb offsets, as well as by seed dispersal or if they were disturbed by flood waters or animals. You can also propagate them by dividing the bulbs after their leaves have turned yellow (having absorbed all of their needed nutrients) and replanting them. Keep the bulbs close together—about 4” apart—and plant them in groups of about 25, for visual impact.
A member of the Amaryllis family, Snowdrops are both deer and vole resistant, thriving in rich, woodsy soil. They look particularly lovely in deciduous shade along woodland paths, or under trees and bushes mixed with other spring-blooming bulbs. They are a great choice for woodland gardens and moon gardens, where white flowers brighten a deeply shady or evening garden space.
Need more ideas on creating winter interest for your landscape? Give us a call at Farmside Landscape & Design—we love helping people make the most of their outdoor spaces!