We have a winner!

– Posted in: Plant info, Weather, What's up/blooming

Snowdrops in January
Don of An Iowa Garden gets the prize–uh, actually, there is no prize–gets the glory for the First Snowdrop of 2007, North American Division. Shucks, it’s hardly any fun when it’s over this early. If anyone had one blooming earlier in January than the 6th, well, did you get a picture?

Special mention must go to Old Rosesas well as Don–for documenting the last snowdrops of 2006. In autumn. Some snowdrops are supposed to bloom in autumn, but these were just precocious spring ones. Actually, a lot of people consider them late winter flowers, but we’re already splitting enough hairs here.

What’s that? You say you don’t see any snowdrops blooming in the photo? Well, of course not. Those are my snowdrops, which are certainly further along than usual, but will never win a race. Of course, that photo was taken January 3rd, and snow has fallen since then (yes, really) so it will probably be a while before they make further progress. The earliest mine have ever bloomed is February 25th.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

What differentiates a bulb from a perennial plant is that the nourishment for the flower is stored within the bulb itself.…There is something miraculous about the way that a little grenade of dried up tissue can explode into a complete flower.

~Monty Don in The Complete Gardener pp. 142

Comments on this entry are closed.

Annie in Austin January 12, 2007, 12:48 pm

Not even Annie Oakley could hit that target!

Our latest weather prediction reads 70º high/60º low for the next 3 days, followed by below freezing at night and 39º high on Monday and Tuesday. MSStevens is still picking cherry tomatoes, while 14 miles away, I’ve lost plants that should be hardy.
Oh well, at least there will be some blank spots for new plants!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Kathy Purdy January 12, 2007, 12:20 pm

I confess I missed Golden Gecko and Entangled. I’ll have to go back to Don and rub it–uh, tell him. But I refuse to make this an official contest, regional or otherwise. Just how would I determine the regions, when Hardiness Zones are a moving target?

Annie in Austin January 12, 2007, 9:52 am

Maybe regional is the way to go, Kathy. Trey at the Golden Gecko had a photo of his snowdrops in bloom on January 1st, but he’s in California. Entangled had a photo of her Virginia snowdrops on the 2nd – but that’s a bit more Southern than Iowa or NY!

In Austin we don’t grow snowdrops, but are advised to plant Leucojum/Snowflakes instead. Although I dutifully planted some, the show was pitiful in 2005 & 2006.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Carol January 11, 2007, 8:54 pm

I dug up a new flower bed where my few snowdrops were planted in some grass, and don’t know if any of them survived. I think I saw a leaf or two the other day, we’ll see. If I have one bloom, I’ll send the picture and then I want a prize for the snowdrop that survived the most trauma to bloom.

Kathy Purdy January 11, 2007, 3:26 pm

Craig, if the snowdrop contest turned into anything more than a joke among friends, I’d have to turn the administration of it over to someone else. There are too many variables involved, as I’m sure you well know. There are not only regional differences but also microclimates on one’s own property, and I’m sure there are genetic differences in snowdrops as well. Anyone in a cold climate who wants to send me a photo of their first bloom of the season is welcome to, and I’ll post as many as I have time for. But I’m not going to run any kind of contest.

Kathy Purdy January 11, 2007, 3:21 pm

Ki, snowdrops transplant best after blooming when they are still in leaf. Unfortunately, most mailorder nurseries don’t sell them that way in the States. (I understand they do it that way in Britain.) So I’m afraid a lot of your bulbs were DOA. But they usually multiply quickly, so divide them after blooming every year or two and you’ll have a nice patch after a while. That’s how this patch got started. A friend gave me a clump, which I planted in a row. I had nothing to do with the moss, however. It came afterward by itself. Gives you an idea of the kind of place where snowdrops thrive.

Craig Levy January 11, 2007, 2:40 pm

How about regional winners plus a grand champion for your Galanthus contest next year? Like you, our temperatures have plummeted since Sunday plus a little bit of snow and more on the way means I shouldn’t see any bulb emergence until March/April. Until this week it’s almost like winter never happended.

Ki January 11, 2007, 2:05 pm

Hi Kathy,
We planted what I thought was a huge number of snowdrops in the Fall of 2005. Spring 2006 almost nada, one or two at the most. Hopefully we’ll have a better showing this year or maybe we got a bum lot. I love the moss yours are growing in. The yellow green nicely sets off the blue green of the snowdrop plants.