Roadside Galanthus

Judy Glattstein
Sat, 12 Mar 2011 20:08:50 PST
There's this road I regularly drive along. And every Spring I see 
wonderful clumps of Galanthus blooming in this patch of scruffy woods 
amid the brambles and amidst the debris.

So today I pulled into the driveway, knocked on the door, complimented 
the fellow on "his" snowdrops and asked when they'd been planted, what 
could he tell me, etc. etc.

Sigh. Turns out he's a tenant, been there two years. Previous tenant had 
been there for 15 years and didn't do much yard work.Sure, I could 
photograph and he even - with no suggestion from me - said I should go 
ahead and dig some up if I wanted any.

It's Galanthus nivalis. Some of the smaller clumps are as large as both 
my hands outspread, and there are others considerably larger. There are 
a very few singletons or trios. Anyone have an idea how long they might 
have been growing there, for the bulbs to multiply sufficiently to reach 
this size?

I just happened to have put a a small bucket and a trowel in the car 
before I headed out this morning . . . . I know there's been a recent 
discussion about digging / dividing snowdrops "in the green." But I 
figure the time to take these bulbs is when they're offered. I dug the 
smallest clump I could find. It separated in 19 flowering bulbs. When 
replanting I watered them in with some 5-10-5 liquid fertilizer and will 
repeat at the end of the month.

It's not that they are anything extraordinary. It's that someone once 
upon a time must have planted a garden here and these are the survivors. 
It's like my other G. nivalis that are ex ex Lob's Woods. They came from 
a friend in Connecticut who had a neighbor who was a granddaughter of 
Mr. Krippendorf. Just call me sentimental.

Judy in New Jersey where the snow is mostly gone but 3 inches of rain in 
24 hours has left the ground so soggy I walked out of one shoe when 
getting back out onto my road after replanting these bulbs

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