About my garden

Monday, 13 February 2017

IAVOM - Perfect little gems

What else is the star just now but snowdrops?
This is our second winter in this house. We moved in summer so had a good idea what was in the garden but, of course, had no idea about what bulbs would come up in spring. It was exciting to see things popping up and wait to see what they were. 
These snowdrops are growing in an inaccessible hedge so picking them involved wet twigs snapping in the face but, I think you'll agree, was worth it. There are lots of them so I felt no guilt in picking plenty.
I believe them to be flore pleno but ready to be corrected by anyone who knows better. 
Shown here with Vinca minor. They are growing together so they must like each other. 
Their sweet, gentle scent is permeating the room. 

 I've taken my own advice and placed them on a mirror. My husband produced this from his car boot. It's a truck wing mirror which is scratched and can't be sold and it's perfect for showing them off. 

 Photography then becomes very difficult as everything is reflected in the mirror. Lampshades, windows, my own head!

We had a tiny sprinkling of snow on Saturday so I tried to photograph snowdrops in the snow. So many as you see, this is about a quarter of them.
I'm planning to dive into the hedge with a trowel in a few weeks time to move some elsewhere. There are plenty of places where they could be tucked in and seen more easily and without risk to health. In fact, I'd like them everywhere.

Here is a fun picture I took with my mobile phone. I think the flash went off, hence the strange light. I was holding it underneath to try and take a photo for identification purposes.I managed to get myself in some of these photos.  I'm new to this game but they are quite large flowers and I think are probably 'S Arnott'. 
I'm now thinking I'll need to get some more varieties!

I've discovered out local town is hosting a Snowdrop festival next weekend. Apparently breeder James Allen used to live here. He bred many new varieties some of which remain incluing 'Merlin' and 'Magnet'. Now I know, I'll have to get involved. 
Here are my broad bean seedlings (shown last week) romping away:

The yoghurt manufacturers have kindly re-designed the pots so they stack nicely inside each other and make perfect little plant pots. Take care to make holes in the bases before planting as it's much more dicey afterwards. Ask me how I know...
These won't be in the pots for long so are big enough. 
I've started some sweet peas in the same way. 

Furry pests:
I've decided the culprit eating the beetroot tops is probably mice. They have moved onto the spinach and I can see a hole going under the edge of the poly tunnel wall. It has been very cold outside to a meal provided out of the wind would be very inviting.
I dug up the beetroot and we ate them just to make sure nothing got to them first. They were very good, maybe some loss of flavour but certainly a treat in February. 

For fun and creative vases from around the world visit 'In a vase on Monday' hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. 

Ps. In the language of flowers, snowdrops mean hope, consolation and a friend in adversity.


  1. I love the photographs of the insides of the snowdrops using the mirror. Snowdrops en mass are simply the best whether in the ground or in a vase! Perfect.

  2. Oh you are so right about using the mirror underneath - doesn't it show them off well! Lovely to see in big clumps,as Christina says but you would be surprised how quickly they bulk up. I take sections from the outer edges of all my native clumps each year and redistribute them in small groups, perhaps about 3 or so - and throughout their growing season whether in flower or not. Your close up snowdrop has more of a 'bridge' marking than the heart shape that S Arnott usually has - looking at the leaves and shape and arrangement of the segments can all help in identification and I like Freda Cox's book 'A Gardeners Guide to Snowdrops' which has really detailed descriptions and drawings.

    1. I wonder if it would work well for other hanging flowers too. I'll have to do more research about the snowdrop variety. We have an expert at the snowdrop weekend so I might pay a visit. This is also a clump in a silly place which will be moving, some I moved last year are doing very well. Good idea to get a book. Google is quite good but, especially with plants, you find it has wandered off the subject.

  3. Having the mirror underneath is genius - love how those photos came out!

    1. I should have credited the idea to an old friend, Hilda. Not my genius, I'm afraid.

  4. Your approach to photographing the snowdrops was wonderful, although I can well imagine the difficulties of keeping yourself out of the shot. The mirror images give me a whole new appreciation for these beautiful flowers (which don't grow here). I liked the photo of them growing en masse in the snow-topped garden soil too. I'm sorry to hear of the misadventures of the voracious mice.

    1. My son has an infra red camera, I just need to get him organised to set it up. Then I'll be able to see the culprits!

  5. Lovely Snowdrops and their meaning! I really enjoyed the mirror pictures giving a view from below. I will have to ask my husband for a mirror, he undoubtedly has one lurking in the garage.

    1. He sounds like my husband, can't throw anything away.

  6. Photographing the underside of snowdrops via a mirror is brilliant! It really shows off their best side. :)

    1. It really does, I'm so glad I remembered to do it.

  7. Alison, your snowdrops are exquisite and I love the charming use of mirror to create a close look. susie


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