Recently I’ve been planting snowdrops in the green, that is bulbs with their leaves and flower stalk still attached.
For anyone not sure what this means, this is the process. Each February I buy at least 300 snowdrop bulbs mail order from wholesale sellers like JParkers, Peter Nyssen, Gee Tee Bulbs or any other wholesaler. When they arrive within days of ordering they look like this:
The flowers are still on their stalks but they are dying. Their leaves are on and they will have been lifted from their growing position and posted. The bulbs are slightly soft like raisins.
I make a little hole with my fingers and pop 3 or 4 bulbs in. I just firm them in. They now look like this:
Snowdrops love peat and don’t do brilliantly in clay soil so if your soil is not peaty it helps to drop a handful of compost into the hole.
Over a few weeks the leaves will die down while feeding the bulb with light, water and carbon dioxide. The bulb will pull itself down into the soil and by late spring or summer there will be nothing showing above ground once you have cleared away the yellow dying leaves.
You’ll see nothing until next December/January when the shoots of the new plants start to come up. If they are happy they will increase underground by multiplying their bulbs and also by self seeding around. If a clump gets congested just lift them up, divide and replant over a larger area.
Most of mine are flowering now and here they are:
Planting snowdrops now is a good example of the thinking ahead that gardening is all about.