Delicate, nodding Snowdrops, massed in a terracotta log planter, will create a quaint and dainty display to welcome visitors on a front doorstep in late Winter.
Snowdrops are usually the very first of the Spring bulbs to emerge, their nodding white blooms and attractive fine foliage appearing early in the year, often from beneath a blanket of snow.
There are many forms of the Common Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis), ranging from a beautiful double form (G. n. Flore Pleno’) to hybrids with green-tipped petals, such as C. n. ‘Pusey Green Tip’, and even an unusual form with clear yellow markings, C. n. var. lutescens.
Plant the dormant bulbs around September, placing them in a semi-shade position. Keep the compost moist at all times. The Snowdrops will soon form clumps to produce moreeach year. Lift and thin out the clumps every few years, planting the spare bulbs in another tub.
The Snowdrops can also be planted ‘in the green’ in March. Plant the bulbs to the same depth as the dry bulbs and leave the foliage to die down. Using this method, they will probably become established more quickly, and may produce more flowers in the first year.
PLANTING THE LOG
Place small crocks in the bottom of the terracotta log, making sure that you cover theholes to stop compost from leaching out during watering. If there are no drainage holes, put in a good layer of crocks.
Use a free-draining, humous-rich compost in the log, adding a handful of leaf mould or well-rotted manure to the mixture if possible. Fill the log to a level 2.5cm (1in) below the rim, firming the compost as you go.
Arrange the bulbs quite close together, pointed ends upwards, on the surface of the compost. Sprinkle on more compost and firm between the bulbs to fill in air spaces. Fill the log to just below the rim.
After watering the bulbs well, cover the surface of the compost with a mulch of bark chippings. Not only will this look attractive, but it will also serve to prevent the compost underneath from drying out too quickly.