Snowdrops.

General tips / questions on seeding & planting

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snooky
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Snowdrops.

Postby snooky » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:42 pm

I like snowdrops and as I was in our local Garden Centre on the weekend I had a look what they had on offer.A pot of Four bulbs"in the green" for £8-99.I didn't buy them but when I went home I found on line one hundred bulbs "in the green"for £11.50.Whilst on line I also found named varieties(the ones which I bought were Galanthus Nivalis the common form found in gardens and growing wild) commanding high prices for a single bulb.The prices for some of the varieties were £30-£50 per bulb with many in the £10-£30 range all with (extortionate) p&p.I did bid on a yellow variety called Wendy's Gold at £7-00 but on checking this morning the bid was at £21 wih six bidders wanting it.I've pulled out!!
Gone are the Dutch Tulip bulb wars to be replaced by the modern-day Snowdrop wars!!!Also I did not realise how many varieties of Snowdrops(Galanthus)there are.Incidentally,the highest price I saw on line was £128-00 for a single bulb.Need to be a fanatic to pay that amount of money for a bulb which may never flower again.
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Monika
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Re: Snowdrops.

Postby Monika » Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:30 pm

Unless you grow these very expensive varieties on a raised bed or in an alpine house, you'd have to lie on your tummy to appreciate them, wouldn't you? I too love snowdrops but prefer large swathes of the common snowdrops (at 100 for £11!) and they do spread beautifully on their own. At the moment they look really good in the garden, especially when they poke through the snow, as they did here this morning.
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oldherbaceous
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Re: Snowdrops.

Postby oldherbaceous » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:21 am

Morning Snooky, funny how things go in and out of fashion....fair play to the plant breeders who realize this and make a few bob out of it, especially as they commit a lot of time and effort to get promising results.
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PLUMPUDDING
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Re: Snowdrops.

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:26 pm

I've got three kinds of snow drops, some very tall ones with petals like helicopter blades, some double ones that are spreading nicely down a sloping rockery and some ordinary ones that I rescued from the gardens that belonged to a little row of stone cottages that they demolished. I just dig up clumps when they've finished flowering and they all establish very easily. The only ones I've paid for were the tall ones when we'd been to a Snowdrop day at Hodsock Priory. They had quite a few fancy ones at silly prices. I'm afraid I've never been fanatical enough about any plants to pay over the odds and they aren't any more beautiful than the common ones anyway.
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Primrose
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Re: Snowdrops.

Postby Primrose » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:38 pm

I treated myself to 4 speciality bulbs at £6 a bulb last February on a visit to Wellford Park to see their famous snowdrops. I planted them in patio pots, separate from my ordinary garden varieties to give them a chance to get established and at least they have all come up this year and evaded the efforts of the squirrels to eat them.

I would have loved a bulb of the Wendy's Gold variety, but not at those silly prices and even if I bought one, I'd probably be six foot under before sufficient of them had proliferated and established themselves as an impactful clump, so have decided to stick with the common variety. The taller ones are attractive though, and there's a bulb called Summer Snowflake which blooms later, and is not actually a snowdrop, I think, which is worth growing.

What always surprises me is how an odd single snowdrop will suddenly turn up and bloom in the middle of the vegetable patch or a border where none have been planted. I suppose tiny new forming bulbs are always capable of being pulled up, caught in the roots of weeds, thrown on a compost heap and then distributed elsewhere in the garden in subsequent years.
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oldherbaceous
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Re: Snowdrops.

Postby oldherbaceous » Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:43 pm

I have never noticed before but, in the hedge out the back of our house, there are some tiny little Snowdrops growing. I'm going to keep a close eye on them, as they are just coming into flower.....delicate little things indeed.
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retropants
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Re: Snowdrops.

Postby retropants » Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:47 pm

I happened upon them being sold in the green at Salisbury Market a couple of years ago, wrapped in newspaper. I bought a few bunches, and they are now flowering away happily under my silver birch tree (which may, or may not be dead - see ealier post/thread)
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Re: Snowdrops.

Postby Diane » Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:07 pm

I'm trying to establish clumps of snowdrops to grow on the ege of our lawn, tastefully arranged around the base of a stone birdbath - it's not happening yet! Planted four clumps, of about 10 bulbs in each, last year. Two are flowering this year but the rest are no where to be seen. The snowflake Leucojum, however, which I never planted, but which appeared years ago in a border, are doing really well and increasing in spite of being totally neglected. And - I can actually see then without having to wear my glasses.
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Primrose
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Re: Snowdrops.

Postby Primrose » Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:12 pm

I've been trying to find some information about the rate at which snowdrop bulbs proliferate. Does anybody know?
Do they develop one new "baby bulb" after every annual flowering, more than one, or it depends on the annual health of the soil as to how many new ones they produce?

I was thinking that if you want to establish clumps of them, you are really thinking more long term, i.e. a few years, in terms of having a nice little clump of bulbs if you plant single bulbs in each location.

I believe somebody told me they don't necessary reproduce in their first year after separation, then the first year they produce one bulb, and the second year two bulbs, but I can't find specific information about this.

Diane, you may have to be patient for a few more years yet. My Summer Snowflake Leucojum clump, planted last year from a potted plant bought in Waitrose, and subsequently planted out, seem sadly to have disappeared without trace. Do they start showing through at the same time as winter snowdrops or do they start sprouting altogether at a later time as they flower much later in the season. Or does the foliage indeed last all through the year and it's just the flowers that reappear every year? I'm unsure about their habits.
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Re: Snowdrops.

Postby Diane » Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:31 pm

My Snowflakes appeared about the same time as the miniscule snowdrops. The Snowflakes are growing in a shady border. As far as I remember, last year foliage lasted well into the summer and then died down. Primrose - I shall heed your advice about being patient. Maybe plant a few more clumps when they're cheaper but still 'in the green' at the garden centre.
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