pixie perennials

gardening with perennials

Snowdrops

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Snowdrops grow at the base of our dinner bell in the kitchen courtyard. Walking by them, I never fail to smile; they signify spring is on the way. Notice the chartreuse edging detail on the three shorter inner tepals. Gorgeous!

The botanical name is Galanthus nivalis. There are several common names for the snowdrop: flower of hope, common snowdrop, candlemas lily, fair maids of February, little sister of the snows, and the purification flower.

The bulb is easy to grow in rich well-drained soil, in full sun or part shade. It prefers a cooler climate. Above zone 7 galanthus nivalis will be short lived. Plant the bulbs in the fall for spring bloom. I prefer to keep the leaves on the plant after the bloom has finished. The foliage will disappear by late spring as bulbs go dormant. (Less work too!)

For a spectacular showing, plant in drifts where they can naturalize, such as the edge of woodlands or in lawns under large deciduous trees. Try lining your walkway with this fragrant early bloomer, you won’t be disappointed.

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