Louise Parsons
Thu, 07 Apr 2005 09:14:33 PDT
>>>>> How are others growing their snowdrops?>>>>>

I tend to give snowdrops (and most other bulbs) their own space. Being a 
somewhat of a nature freak, I don't mind the looks of the dying foliage or bare 
earth later on. The foliage is so temporary and easily tidied up when it is 
ready. Most of my snowdrops grow in raised beds of native soil (excellent silt 
loam with natural duff) under a high canopy of firs. They do receive good 
spring sun. 

In late spring, nearby ferns will partially cover the bare spots without 
causing conflicts that I have found with "bulb covers" or intergrowths. 
Cyclamens and dwarf ferns planted at the edges also provide interest. My scheme 
is not entirely practical when I plant a few ferns, such as Pyrrosia 
polydactyla, that requires a bit of extra hand-watering in the high summer. 
Still, I enjoy that task. It gives me the opportunity to do something relaxing 
enough to actually contemplate and enjoy plants.  I love the natural look of 
certain plant intergrowths and do sometimes create them deliberately, but it 
can be a challenge to weed. Also one plant will sooner or later reach a 
dominating stage. 

In one bed, I tried some forms of Anemone nemorosa, but they were beginning to 
"bully", so they now have their own space away from the snowdrops. It isn't 
that snowdrops won't stand root competition; they do fine under many shrubs and 
fairly aggressive trees. However, if we have a long rainy spring, too much 
herbage can cause problems with rot and disease AND provide a place for slugs 
to hide. 

I wish that there were more US sources for snowdrops. It is so frustrating that 
so many of the finest nurseries overseas no longer ship to the US. I can't 
really blame them either. It is expensive and a hassle. Heronswood nursery 
generally has a nice selection in pots on their open nursery days. Anyone know 
of other sources with a wide selection that will ship to the US? I wish that 
there was an international snowdrop society where we could list and trade 
material. :)

Trilliums and erythroniums are in full swing. E. 'White Beauty' has gone crazy 
here. Fiddleheads are unfurling. Bordering Cyclamen repandum is livening up the 
snowdrop areas with its large, hot-colored, blooms. The continuing Oregon rain 
is very welcome!

Cheers, Louise
Corvallis Oregon

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