January Snowdrops, galanthus, garden Victoria BC, Pacific Northwest

Snowdrops – January Gems

The first year at Richmond House I was ecstatic to see snowdrops blooming on January 11.  Months earlier I’d planted some & the early pay off was thrilling.  Happily more were proving that they’d previously been naturalizing around the yard.

The following year, having a better idea of where to seek out the delightful little blossoms:  January 1 – discovery!

Another winter it was December 27.

But this year, even searching vigilantly through the Christmas & New Year holidays, it took until January 11 for my first snowdrop encounter.

January snowdrops
photo by SVSeekins

With West Coast’s winter being dull and drizzly, a promise of the spring to come is like a ray of sunshine.  So even though white flowers are not usually near the top of my list, I celebrate January snowdrops.

These plants are treasures.  When hit with snow for a few days in the middle of the month they barely twitched.  If anything, by the time I went back outside, more were blooming!  In the cool days of our winter snowdrop blooms last for weeks & weeks – well through February.

I like to get down close to the earth & take a close look at them.   It’s fun to discover the little green tatoo on each petal.  And who knew there were so many varieties?

Clusters in my garden haven’t yet become abundant enough to divide, but now is the time to do it.  Usually the recommendation is to wait until a plant is in dormancy before moving it.  With snowdrops that rule doesn’t hold true apparently.  That’s pretty handy, because once they die back I can never really remember where they are.

I’ve used this time of year to shift snowdrops into different locations, as it was a mistake for me to attempt growing them in a spring-flowering meadow.  Although they bloom before the grasses start to grow, their leaves are still busy storing up for next year’s flowers when C has the uncontrollable urge to dust off lawn mower in late February.  Zip, there goes the meadow.

Shorter bulbs, like crocus, might stand half a chance in our lawn, but not snowdrops – – nor daffodils. Those are best left to naturalize in our beds & borders.

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© copyright 2012 SVSeekins

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12 thoughts on “Snowdrops – January Gems”

  1. I envy you, but have to admit this year with the mild winter we’ve had I can’t complain and I certainly imagine an early sping with the Johnny Jump Ups doing their thing. But with the lack of snow I do worry about what may have been killed over the winter. I am totally enjoying the long day light hours and all the sun we’ve been blessed with and you know I think I’ve seen every fulll moon since Sept. Very little cloud cover when the moon was shining it’s best.

    1. These little beauties would likely be hardy in northern Alberta as they range from zone 2 thru 9, & ThePlantExpert.com says they do best in zones 4-7…. I think your neck of the woods is zone 4, isn’t it?

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