Guest Author - Katelyn Thomas
Each year, just when it seems that I can't endure another chilly winter day huddled in front of the fireplace, I look out my front windows and see the delicate white blossoms of my snowdrops. Usually, they are completely covered by a thick blanket of snow a day or so later, but I know it will only be a few weeks before hellebores, crocus, and forsythia burst into bloom.
Besides being the first plants to bloom in my spring garden, snowdrops have another great characteristic - they are downright pretty. Delicate bell shaped white flowers with lacey edges nod on slender green stalks.
Snowdrop bulbs are fairly perishable, so you should plant them as soon as you bring them home. In fact, if you are buying the bulbs in a store, check to be sure that they arenít already growing mold.
To plant snowdrops for early spring color, dig a shallow trench three to four inches deep near the front of your garden border during the fall months. If you have heavy clay soil, dig down at least six inches and add a layer of gravel for drainage. Place the bulbs in the hole with the skinniest end up. You can plant them in a tidy row, but I prefer to plant them in a slightly s shaped pattern for a more natural look. Cover the bulbs with a layer of enriched soil. I usually mix a few handfuls of compost with my garden soil to enrich it. Tamp down the soil and water the bulbs thoroughly.
Iíve seen snowdrops bloom during the first week of February in my zone 6b-7a garden. Other times, they donít bloom until the end of the month.
To find out about more spring bulbs, you may want to take a look at this book: Spring-Blooming Bulbs: An A to Z Guide to Classic and Unusual Bulbs for Your Spring Garden