WHAT’S more joyful than the first sight of clusters of tiny snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) popping up all over the gardens of Britain?
Blooming in February and flowering through to March, these hardy little perennial bulbs bring that first bit of life to our gardens, the first sign that spring is on its way.
Middleton Hall & Gardens planted hundreds of extra snowdrops last year to boost their already impressive display, and they are starting to appear, all over the glade and heritage orchard. They are open for Snowdrop Week during February half-term and there’s no better way of welcoming the arrival of spring than admiring the clumps of snowdrops that dot their 42 acres of gardens, grounds and nature trail, looping around Middleton Pool, the oldest man-made lake in Warwickshire.
Snowdrops are fantastic to grow in your own garden, adding life to your garden at the end of those gloomy winter months.
Here are some tips for growing snowdrops in your own garden from Middleton Hall & Gardens’ Senior Gardener, Paul Martin:
“Snowdrops are best bought and planted when the plants have finished flowering and are still green – we call this planting ‘in the green’. They establish better at this stage. Plant them at the same depth as they were growing before they were lifted from the ground – the point where the green leaves start to turn yellow should be level with the soil surface.
Most snowdrops prefer a spot in dappled shade. Plant them in clusters at the foot of trees and deciduous shrubs. They will thrive if you improve the soil with leaf mould or garden compost when planting to ensure they don’t dry out during the summer.
Don’t be tempted to trim the dying leaves off. Leaving them to die down naturally will allow the goodness to be absorbed back into the bulb, feeding next year’s buds.
Every few years, after flowering in early spring, we lift congested clumps with a garden fork, tease the clumps apart into smaller clumps and re-plant them. Pick off any remaining flower heads to concentrate energy into the bulbs. By doing this the bulbs will become re-energised, flowering more prolifically and you’ll also boost the number of plants you have for free.”
Middleton Hall & Gardens opens for Snowdrop Week from 17th—21st February and then on Sunday 24th February, between 11am – 4pm with the last admission being at 3pm.
Gift Aid Adult entry £6.60, Standard Adult entry £6.00, FREE for under-16s and Middleton Hall & Gardens Season Pass holders.