The snowdrops in the old orchard are starting to go over. This is the best time to lift and split clumps. I have a small number of cultivars, but I find the best snowdrop for creating drifts, by far, is the common Galanthus nivalis. Most of the snowdrops in the old orchard, bar a clump in the hedgerow, came from a smattering of G. nivalis lifted from the lawn around 4 years ago. To this I have added a few bulbs of the double G. nivalis ‘Flore Pleno’ – a snowdrop that has been in cultivation since the 1750s, which should also clump up well, and Galanthus ‘John Gray’ – another old cultivar with a lovely honey scent. I’ve also nicked some snowdrops from my brother’s garden. I have no idea what cultivars these are – so I have named them ‘Ant Small’ and ‘Ant Large’.
A very modest collection indeed.
The process of dividing is simple – lift a clump and split into small bundles of bulbs and replant at the same depth in another spot.
I’m aiming to create around 20 extra pockets of the G. nivalis snowdrops every day for the next the next week over a quarter of the orchard.
I prefer to have the effect of large drifts rather than collecting numerous cultivars, though I can appreciate the lure of ‘galanthomania’. It’s like a more modern form of tulipmania. Apparently a single snowdrop bulb with a yellow head and markings, (‘Elizabeth Harrison’), sold for £725.10 on ebay in 2012 – which, of course, is bonkers.
Though I do quite fancy a yellow form…. ‘Wendy’s Gold’ perhaps…..