Thursday, 6 March 2014

A fistful of snowdrops

Galantho thievery
What is it that’s so satifying about having a fistful of snowdrops? I’m not sure. Perhaps it’s the knowledge that some people are willing to pay silly money for bulbs of the rarest and most desirable varieties (over £700 for Galanthus woronowii 'Elizabeth Harrison' in 2012 - which has golden markings on the petals and a matching golden ovary at the base (well, top as you look at it) of the flower). Maybe it’s just the feeling of having your hands around such a delicate and iconic plant, as if you’re somehow holding the key to spring itself. Whatever it is, it’s a sensation that caught me off guard today, as I carefully moved clumps of self sown plants into one area in preparation for revamping this particular bed. Normally, I don’t touch them until they’ve done their thing, if at all, but I don’t want them getting lost in the melee. I tried where possible to take as big a rootball with the plants as possible, although in separating out some of the intermingled undesirables, the odd bulb was displaced, and it will take a little longer for these to reestablish in their new positions, as they’re not hugely keen on root disturbance.

A snowdrop nursery would, I’m sure, be happier to move plants during the dormant period, rather than ‘in the green’. Just imagine working in a place like that, where you’re shifting the things about all the time. That’s a job I’d be happy to do. For a few snowdrops more.