This is the closest I’ve felt to being grounded since I was about 15 years old. Any suggestion that I might head out into the wider world runs into intense spousal opposition. However, I can always go into the garden. Even when it’s too wet or cold to do any actual gardening, there is still the option of carrying out a close inspection of new developments. That’s something I do a lot of even in normal times.


Snowdrops (mostly Galanthus nivalis with some G. elwesii) have reached their peak in our garden (though our display is awfully meager to use the word “peak”, which ought to describe thousands of blooms).

Anyhow, the area where they have naturalized most freely is around the Annabelle Hydrangeas (Hydrangea arborescens) along the east fence. I cut the Hydrangeas back pretty hard so we can see them better. Annabelle doesn’t seem to mind.


There are small clumps of Snowdrops in a few other spots around the Back Garden.


I wonder if I should really lift these clumps and spread the bulbs around.


The very first Crocuses have begun blooming, poking their heads up out of the leaf litter. Here’s a couple of soft yellow ones.


I’m pretty sure these are Crocus tommasinianus.


Here’s a nice golden yellow one. So far there is little sign of the rabbits ravaging the Crocuses like they usually do. I’m pretty sure, though, that they are just trying to lull me into a sense of complacency.

Hellebore in bud.

Meantime, I am anxiously watching for my other early bulbs. The Tulipa kaufmanniana leaves have emerged, but no flower buds. There is almost no sign of the Glory-of-the-Snow (Chionodoxa forbesii) or the Siberian Squill (Scilla sibirica), even though the Chionodoxa are blooming at the Lurie Garden. It’s so hard to remain patient, especially when spending so much time (all the time, actually) at home.

Well, at least there are plenty of buds on the Lenten Roses (Helleborus orientalis).

This has been a slow spring so far, the March days being colder and wetter than usual. And so the garden creeps forward, moderately boosting the morale of the inmates but leaving us eager for more.

44 Comments on “Peak Snowdrops to First Crocus”

  1. My, I enjoyed seeing those snowdrops, especially now that I know the difference between snowdrops and snowflakes. My favorite of the crocuses is the golden yellow one. There’s something about that shade of yellow that makes me smile, every time.

    Here’s how fast spring is coming, here. When I left for work yesterday morning, the cypress trees still were bare-branched. When I came home last night, every single tree had begun leafing out and was covered with the most beautiful light green fringe imaginable. Amazing.

      • Well, at least they naturalize at all. Crocus might have been the first flowers that taught me that some plants prefer chill. I was told that they are the first to come up through the snow to bloom (I had never heard of snowdrops). I did not know what snow was, but, I later learned that it is cold, and that without it, some plants do not know that it is winter, so subsequently do not know when spring arrives.

  2. Enjoy all your early spring bulbs, close up, and several times a day, because you can! I say yes, divide the snowdrop clumps. I’ve done it while they’re blooming and they didn’t bat an eyelash. Our spring in western Maryland has been a good 3-4 weeks ahead of schedule this year (which makes me wonder about a potentially beastly summer), so the very early bulbs are finished. I’m feeling a bit trapped at home, although I’m naturally somewhat of a hermit. After all, garden centers are open (or are they?) and the plants are calling! Sigh.

  3. I don’t have snowdrops planted, so I’m enjoying your’s. Just lovely. My crocuses are also starting to poke their heads up but as you say, it is pretty chilly out there. It does indeed feel like being grounded and when I went to the grocery store yesterday I felt like I was going to get in trouble! So odd, this all is.

    • Very much so. Judy went to the grocery and said it felt kind of creepy with some shelves empty. Though an odd assortment of things were gone: potatoes, white flour, sugar, oatmeal, onions. Fortunately we have a decent amount of all those except for potatoes and onions. Potatoes is not a big deal, we have a few, but no onions is a problem. Oh, and English muffins! I miss those.

      • Yes, no onions is a problem here too. And English muffins~! How I miss those anyway, because of my reaction to gluten. 😦 And now we have snow all over everything! It IS pretty. I guess.

  4. I would separate your Galanthus if I were you. I was once scared to dig mine up and spread them out. Once I did it was was thrilled with the results and I think you will be too. My garden is a bit ahead of yours. We are having a soggy cool spring so far too. Even though I am retired and normally lead a very quiet life I am feeling the sting of not being able to be with friends and family up close and personal. The garden is my solace.

  5. I’m with your spouse, am glad you have the garden to spend time in, and look forward to the hellebore unfurling. Some of those thick G. elwesii clumps do look as if splitting might not come amiss if you have some moments to fill.

  6. Yes, the snowdrops are simply exquisite. Thanks for posting those lovely photos.

    We gardeners all planned ahead for this, didn’t we? Even though we didn’t know we were–gardens are a profound comfort at this moment.

    Stay safe, stay well…

  7. i think we are lucky to have our gardens to retreat to. Although I was jolted today when sowing seed to realise that I wasn’t going to be able to buy any more potting/seed sowing compost this year. Your snowdrops are lovely – I consider a small clump to be a ‘show’! Enjoy your time with the garden.

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