After a mixed week of weather which brought a touch of snow on Friday morning and a wet Saturday morning followed by glorious blue skies and sunshine on both days, Sunday looks set to be grey and wet all day.
Potting on seedlings in the greenhouse was quickly thwarted because I ran out of compost, and a simple vase for Monday quickly prepared and photographed. Each ramble past the special snowdrop border whilst carrying out these tasks took in a cursory inspection of any new emergees – but sadly there are still varieties unticked on my checklist. In full bloom (and therefore no cause for concern) and also readily visible from the kitchen windows since the bed was raised are Mrs Macnamara:
Lady Beatrix Stanley:
and the large and jovial fellow with the name Reverend Hailstone:
However, there are still 9 or 10 that haven’t yet re-emerged this season which is more than a little disappointing but unfortunately seems to be an occupational hazard when establishing named varieties. My checklist still includes varieties not seen for a few years and which will finally be taken off the list as I don’t intend to replace them – most of them were not fully established clumps but as well as some fairly recent acquisitions this year’s non-showers include G Atkinsii and Wendy’s Gold both of which I have had for a number of years, although admittedly the latter was not a large clump and had been diminished one year when it was split to sell 2 or 3 bulbs to appease a guilty conscience after paying too much for another snowdrop 😉
All these snowdrops are grown in lattice pots originally designed to contain pond plants and which ensure the bulbs are easier to find and lift when they need splitting. There is a slight danger of air pockets being left in the basket or drainage being affected by pebbles or other detritus, and I am beginning to wonder whether it would increase chances of survival if bulbs were grown in the open ground. I feel confident that the larger clumps would be fine with this, but newer purchases of single bulbs would be more vulnerable and yet these are the ones most likely to fail – around 10 of the snowdrops acquired within the last two years have failed. Sometimes when these pots have been lifted there has been evidence of damage by narcissus fly, but mostly the bulbs have just disappeared without trace. What is a snowdrop loving girl to do…?