missing snowdrop mystery solved

Jim McKenney jimmckenney@jimmckenney.com
Tue, 06 May 2008 19:05:50 PDT
Another snow drop story, or rather a continuation of one started in a much
earlier post.


My bulbs of the double-flowered form of Galanthus nivalis came from a local
estate now managed as a natural history organization. I had spotted them
growing in the muck beside the ruts of the trucks which used the area where
they were growing as a sort of dump. I asked one of the groundskeepers if I
might take a few, and he practically handed me the shovel then and there.
Later, I got a distressed call from him to the effect that he should not
have let me have those bulbs. When I offered to return them, he
paradoxically said that it was not necessary to do so.


I’ve been back to check those clumps on several occasions: the last time I
looked some had already fallen under the truck tires and been smashed into
the mud. 


I’ve deliberately mentioned mud and muck because I suspect that they might
be a clue to the problem Jane is having in keeping this plant. After moving
the bulbs into my garden, the first year’s blooms were not very shapely,
although the plants as seen at the source site were the fullest and
handsomest double snowdrops I’ve ever seen. I suspect that they respond well
to lots of water when in growth. My plants are multiplying well, and in this
second year in my garden they produced very nice flowers. They grow in a
clay loam which holds water well. 


Some double-flowered snowdrops are tricky to grow in our climate. I have a
clump of what was received as Ophelia (I have a habit of mistakenly calling
it Cornelia); it grew here for decades without blooming. Several years ago
it began to bloom and now blooms yearly. Well, it sort-of blooms. It
produces flowers, and some of those flowers actually go on to open fully.
But most do not open at all. This plant grows at the edge of a dry wall, and
I think it’s time to take my own advice and get it into moister soil.  


Jim McKenney


Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone

My Virtual Maryland Garden http://www.jimmckenney.com/

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