New feet within my garden go–
New fingers stir the sod-
A Troubadour opon the Elm
Betrays the solitude
New Children play opon the green-
New Weary sleep below-
And still the pensive Spring returns-
And still the punctual snow!
Emily Dickinson (79)
March 25, ’09
Yesterday we had snow.
My books arrived and, oh my goodnes, I LOVE them. I’m just getting started, and have read the “Early Spring” section of Emily Dickinson’s Gardens by Marta McDowell. We’ll follow along with her on this blog the early Spring plantings of Emily. If you’d like to add other poems of hers (or others) that you think might refer to the flower we’re highlighting, please do so in the comments–we’d love to read them.
Today’s flower, in Early Spring, is the Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis). They were the first flowers to bloom in the garden. They are a bulb flower. Here is a picture:
Information from theplantexpert.com as follows:
“The major benefit of planting Garden Snowdrops is their early arrival. They can show up weeks before crocuses do, and will often poke through a covering of snow. In the South, snowdrops may even bloom all winter long.
A snowdrop plant looks like three drops of milk hanging from a stem. This accounts for the Latin name Galanthus which means “milk-white flowers”.
Since they are small, you probably need to plant a large number to make a dramatic effect. However, in a rock garden, or planted among other early-blooming plants like Snow Crocuses, an odd number of snowdrops here and there can be just as effective.
Under the right circumstances (see Notes) snowdrops will naturalize very well, and a planting of them can last a lifetime. They are well worth the investment. As an added benefit, snowdrops (like other members of the Amaryllis family) are normally avoided by deer and rodents.
Flowering time: Very early spring
Plant height: 4 – 6″ (10 – 15 cm), although some cultivated varieties grow up to 10″ (25 cm) tall
Minimum planting depth: 3″ (8 cm)
Hardiness zones: Suitable for zones 2 – 9, although they do best in zones 4 – 7
Colours: Clear milk white, usually with emerald green tipped inner segments
Shape/form: A single, nodding, bell-like flower, about 1″ long with 3 lobes, and shorter inner segments, hanging from a stiff, slender, leafless stalk; 2 – 3 very narrow leaves grow from the base of the plant
Alternate names: Common Snowdrop, Milk Flower
Latin name: Galanthus nivalis
Notes: Good for rock gardens, under trees and shrubs, at the fronts of borders or in front of flowering shrubs, in lawns, or along woodland paths
Prefers moist, humus-rich soils, sun-dappled shade, and cooler climates, as in zones 4 – 7
Naturalizes both by self-seeding and bulb offsets
Example varieties: Garden Snowdrop (white), Flore Pleno (double white flowers), Viridapicis (green markings on tips of both outer and inner petal segments), Sam Arnott (larger flowers, with distinct heart-shaped green markings), Atkins Snowdrop (taller than most, with long, shapely petals)”
Have you planted Snowdrops in your garden? Will you this year? What is your exprerience or memories of them?