Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I have a problem with snowdrops...

...the beasties just won't grow in the garden.  I'm not even talking about exotic snowdrops.  Just the common Galanthus nivalis and it's varieties, whether penny plain or twopenny fancy.

It's not as though I haven't tried.  When I first moved in I brought some with me, dug up from my old garden.  Single, double and a couple of varieties, the large flowered 'Sam Arnott' and green tipped 'Scharlockii' .  They came up the first winter and then declined.  OK, the soil and conditions may not have been entirely suitable but they weren't that much different to my previous garden and these snowdrops multiplied well on that site.

So, having failed once, I restocked.  And failed again.  But this time I'd carefully prepared some suitable spots - moist but well drained woodsy soil, summer shade, winter sun.  So failure was unexpected.  So I tried again.  And again.  Pot grown plants, bulbs, plants 'in the green' - all failed to thrive and steadily dwindled in following years.  And I don't know why.  The soil pH is fine - about 6.5, fertile enough to judge by how well other plants grow, of suitable texture.  It's not the climate - snowdrops grow beautifully in the local area, colonising swathes of local hedgerow and forming extensive colonies in local gardens.  It's not my local slugs and snails - they're partial to the flowers but leave the mucilaginous leaves alone.  In short, I'm doing everything right - but still failing miserably.

It's said that the definition of futility is repeating the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.  That probably sums up my attempts to grow snowdrops in my current garden.  On the other hand it's the season for buying plants in pots or in the green, the best way of establishing them.  And it's so tempting.  I just want to see this:

Snowdrops naturalised in a local hedgerow
 Or this:

Galanthus nivalis 'Flore Plena'
In my previous garden I'd started to collect snowdrops.  Now I can't even grow them.  Such is the gardener's lot.

1 comment:

  1. I've planted snowdrops for the first time this year and they're really sad specimens. I'm hoping it's just because I planted bulbs rather than in the green, and that they'll improve with age, but suspect I may be following you down the path of no snowdrops :-(

    Still, looks like you have lots of other beautiful plants to enjoy!