Snowdrops and Snow.

Its very cold today, snow is coming and I can see from my window that the first light snowflakes are falling. Yet it is suprising what is growing in the frozen ground. While filling up the bird feeders, I had a quick walk round the garden. Snowdrops are starting to flower in ernest now, I have lots of the common snowdrop [ Galanthus nivalis ] and it’s double form Flora Pleno. I also have some of the larger flowered snowdrops, Galanthus elwesii and the broad leaved Galanthus plicatus. I love my snowdrops but not as much as some. Such is the popularity of snowdrops that for some it borders on obsession. These folks are know as ‘Galanthophiles’ and spend much of their time searching for or breeding new varieties. With some of the rarer choice bulbs selling for more than £150 per bulb. I think I will stick to the more common varieties!

There were other flowers emerging, daffodils, helebores and a few lovely early primroses. Also showing through was my rhubarb, I planted it a couple of springs ago, in a small raised bed. Last year it loved the rain and grew so large I stuggled to get past it to other areas of the garden. I need to lift and move it somewhere else, my problem is where? I know it will stand a bit of shade and it loves moisture, so I’m thinking It may have to go against the hedge in a dull corner. It will get some sun and it’s moist and most importantly, it will be out of my way!

The hardy perennials I sowed last summer are making good strong plants in the cold greenhouse. I have sweet rocket, oriental poppies, foxgloves and purple angelica. Hopefully they will be planted outside in March.

My chives are starting into growth and some of last years parsley has still got leaves I can harvest. The garlic variety Lautrec Wight is growing really well dispite the cold and the broad green shoots of the elephant garlic are showing through the soil. No sign yet of the Solent Wight, but there’s time.

I have sown lots of seeds in my heated propagator and it is now full. Hopefully many will be germinating soon and then I can sow more. I have been sowing toms, peppers, herbs and flowers. my propagator is on my desk, squeezed in between my IMac and the printer, at least it’s easy to check wether anything has germinated. It’s begining to get like a production line. Seeds in, seedlings out, then onto windowsills or into the mini greenhouse in the conservatory.  I have also sown sweet peas in cardboard toilet tubes, they are the mini greenhouse in the conservatory with no heat.

See also  Perennials in the Veg Plot.

My seed potatoes are starting to show small shoots, I am growing a new one for me this year called Apache. I have read on a number of reviews that it has great flavour. It is certainly eyecatching with it’s red and yellow skin. I just hope it tastes as good as it looks.

As I finish writing the snow is falling much thicker, time I think to put another log on the fire. The weather forcast says warmer weather is coming after the snow, so lots of gardening this weekend. Hopefully!

Helen Fowler
Born in Middlesbrough. Moved to live in rural North Yorkshire in late teens. Moved back to the town in my 30's to live near Stockton on Tees. Then after a divorce and a serious accident I moved back to rural North Yorkshire near Thirsk, where I live now. I am a passionate gardener, a keen amateur photograper, I love travel, music, anything artistic and I have a great love of nature and the natural world. I have gardened since my teens and I lived and worked on a farm for years. I have owned or have experience with most pets and domestic animals. I hope by sharing my own experiences and the personal knowledge I have gained over the years, to help and encourage others to gain the most from their gardening efforts.

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