Candlemas bells

The beginning of the year is a special time at the House at Nab End.  Outside, the outlines of the ash trees contrast boldly against the grey, yellow, and flaming red of the sky, as morning turns to wintery afternoon, and sunsets bring the day to an end in blazing glory.


A venture outside is like discovering Mary Lennox’s secret garden.  I scour the ground for the first slender grey-green spears of the snowdrops that will soon carpet the damp, woodland earth.

snowdrop 3

Snowdrop 1

snowdrop and lady

They will be followed by the delicate blooms of winter aconite and tiny blue scilla . . .


snowdrops and aconites

. . . before being pushed aside by their bolder, brighter spring-flower cousins, the daffodils and tulips.

daffs ad tulips

But for now, the garden is waiting for them to take centre stage and remind us that spring is on its way.

snowdrop 2



Snowdrop tips:

Buy and plant snowdrops just after flowering when they are still “in the green”.

Plant in a partly-shaded position, in moist, but well-drained, soil.  Avoid planting in spots that are likely to become dry in summer as the bulbs are prone to drying out. Adding plenty of compost or leaf-mould when planting will help to retain moisture.

Clumps can be lifted and divided after flowering as the foliage turns yellow.  Replant either in smaller clumps or as single bulbs, at the same depth as they were growing (usually around 8 cm or so deep).

snowdrop 4

The National Trust recommends the following top spots for snowdrops

Why not leave a comment below to share your favourite snowdrop-drifted sites?

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