As the snowdrop season approaches (hardly credible with the mostly mild autumn we have been having), I have not been able to resist poking around in the special snowdrop border to see if there an early spikes of green showing. Following on from the first bud of ‘Faringdon Double’ I was pleased to see several shoots of another early variety, ‘Mrs McNamara’ but there was no sign at all of ‘Maidwell L’ which was one of my very early purchases. Gentle excavation with the end of the seed label still failed to retrieve anything so I carefully lifted the basket the clump was growing in and inspected the contents more closely – alas! only soil and a few hollow bulbs… 😦 Maidwell L has been nobbled… and if an established clump can be devastated like this then how much more likely is it for a single bulb to meet the same fate…? 😦 😦 😦
The clump was so well established that I felt confident using two bulbs to experiment with propagating by the ‘chipping’ or ‘twin scaling’ method (which on this occasion was unsuccessful) and I may possibly have given a small pot of bulbs to a friend – with whom I have left a begging message. I am especially concerned because all the established snowdrops in this border had been temporarily lifted in their baskets whilst I raised the level of the bed earlier in the year and most had been repotted in their existing or larger baskets. Time will tell, but I shall be doing a lot more poking around in the coming months I can tell you – and I seriously wonder whether to keep duplicate bulbs potted up elsewhere to allow for disasters like this. It does feel like a disaster, as I may have lost individual bulbs in their first year but never an established clump – woe and double woe!
On a happier note (and there will always be happier notes), there should be no problem with stray laburnum seedlings from next year as the Golfer has begun to cut down the laburnums that our now deceased neighbour had personally planted in the hedge – hurrah! Also a cause for happiness is the creation of another small bricklaying project, arising from clearing the ivy at the foot of one of the rose arbour posts which generated the vision of a continuation of the existing supporting wall alongside the path. As this is the access required for getting wheelbarrows up the slope from the front of the house to the rest of the garden a wall on either side would have made it awkward, but widening the path by a couple of mini cobbles should make all the difference. Rain is forecast for the next few days but it’s only a couple of hours work so I shall get the bricks and mortar in anyway, just in case.