Snowdrops must surely be the first sign that spring is on it’s way. The genus Galanthus is native to much of Europe and the Middle East. It is thought that it was introduced into the UK around the early 1500's, and has naturalised in large parts of the country. The name derives form the Ancient Greek words meaning 'milk flower'.
There are over 20 different species, although many are now protected as the bulbs have been lifted from the wild and exported, to a point where they have become endangered. Our bulbs are all grown commercially within Europe.
How to plant Galanthus bulbs:
Snowdrops will tolerate a wide range of sites, but for choice they prefer a semi-shaded position under deciduous trees. Plant them 10cm (4") deep in any well drained soil - adding leafmould before planting is advisable if possible, as it improves the soil structure without adding nutrients. Galanthus do not need any feeding - they prefer a nutrient poor soil if possible. Plant the bulbs straight away as they resent drying out.
A large swathe of snowdrops is a sight to behold in late winter, but they also combine wonderfully well with other early bulbs, such as Eranthis, Crocus and early Narcissus.