My Garden

My garden February 2011

Just a few shots of the garden on a lovely sunny day, to give you some idea how I grow my snowdrops. The soil is predominately acid, lovely for magnolias and hamamelis, but not so good for snowdrops. We also seem to have a layer of clay about 18 inches below the surface, which can make drainage difficult; in wet weather the lawn can end up being waterlogged.

We started building raised beds 22 years ago, and every year more get added. The collection snowdrops are only grown around the perimeter, so giving me easy access to them, and they are interplanted with crocus, cyclamen, iris and eranthis to add colour and interest. By having barrier plants between the snowdrops it hopefully aids in stopping the spread of any diseases and confuses the narcissus fly, as it relies on scent to find the snowdrops. The centres of the raised beds are planted with shrubs, hellebores, arum and other winter plants, followed by erythronium and anemones in mid-Spring.

The woodland area is on level ground, planted with birches and magnolias; underplanted with cyclamen hederifolium, pulmonia, hellebores and symphytum; the crocus happily self seed. The only snowdrop that seems to thrive in these conditions is woronowii.

The crocus quite readily self seed everywhere

On a visit to Dunwich Monastery 15 years ago I managed a “acquire” a few bulbs; these have clumped up nicely; ordinary nivalis but quite a small growing form.

The polytunnel in the nursery area, showing some of the 3 and 4 year old twin scales in flower.

The two newly planted raised beds in the nursery area are at last putting on some growth; they house some of my “good” nivalis

A cheerful sight on a sunny day.

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