Friday, 7 January 2011

Gone But Not Forgotten


There has been much wailing, gnashing of teeth and tearing out of hair here over the last few days. I have disobeyed one of those sage pieces of advice that you find in all the horticultural tomes. It's the one that tells you to leave well alone and not to go poking about to see what might lie underneath the soil. In this case I am talking about my small collection of named snowdrops which I have slowly accumulated over the last few years. The reason why I was so rash is because I have not been able to signs of growth appearing, which I usually can by now, so I decided to investigate further, taking into account any damage to life and limb that such stirrings might incur. However it would appear that there was no risk involved as I have lost about a third of my collection - more wailing and gnashing etc. I should explain that I keep the snowdrops in pots in an effort to thwart the local squirrel population and so that I can enjoy looking at them close at hand as well as being able to appreciate their scent. That will be rectified as soon as possible, as I think that the recent extremely long and sustained cold snaps we have had as well as a very wet summer have polished them off. The bulbs have simply rotted away. They would have been better off in the ground or in larger containers but I had got away with growing them in relatively small pots for a good few years. I was on reflection much too complacent that I would get away with it for ever.

On further exploration I found out that the bulbs have completely rotted away. I have lost several old timers - the bizarre 'Walrus', stalwart 'John Gray' and the buxom beauty which was Mrs McNamara, whilst others such as my favourite 'Diggory' below are on the critical list. I began collecting these little beauties when I was still working and had more pennies to spend on such goodies, so it will take some time now to replace the lost snowdrops. As of now I am not sure yet whether I will. They have given me much pleasure for some years and I might just content myself with that. I still have some to treasure and will do my best to keep them going for as long as possible.


However all is not doom and gloom. On the good news front the residents of my wormery are making an amazing recovery, after I thought that they had been to frozen solid in their de-luxe residence, which sits inside the shed. I considered briefly administering the kiss of life but decided against. Now much to my delight and surprise, although there have been some losses, it would appear that many of them went into a state of suspended animation and they are now wriggling away once more. This week's other exciting discovery has been to find a source of seeds for melanoselinum decipiens. The photo at the top of this post does not do them justice - a new camera on its maiden voyage and frozen hands are not the best combination.  I was absolutely smitten with these plants which were on Jekka McVicar's display stand at the Malvern Show last spring, but neither plants nor seeds were available to buy at the time. Now just for warmers days and I will be disappearing into the greenhouse to sow them ..... I await with bated breath !

15 comments:

  1. I grieve for your snowdrops - I feel the same way about my ferns, I love each one and would miss them all

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  2. There's an interesting article on snowdrop care in this month's RHS' 'The Garden'. Pots are a definite no no.

    I've decided to take great pleasure in our common snowdrops instead - it would be far too dangerous for me to become a galnthophile ;)

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  3. Anna, that's so sad! About the snowdrops, that is - the worm recovery is, by contrast, excellent news... I limited myself to buying cheap bulbs because we are probably moving in the not-to-distant future, so am trying to shun bulb catalogues, way too seductive. Also I realised I was probably kidding myself in thinking I would ever go around kneeling by my clumps of precious rarities admiring them. Good luck with your hogweed, it looks rather wonderful.

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  4. What a shame about the snowdrops. I'm impressed that you manage to remember which are which though, I'm rubbish at remembering different varieties. Glad to hear about the worms though, but you might have to wrap them up warm once again, we've got snow here again.

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  5. Hi Anna,

    So sorry to hear about the Snowdrops :(

    I don't have any of the collectors types - due to price, so I can fully understand how you must be feeling at their loss.
    There's a website I know of which sells Snowdrops quite cheap that I use, but as I said they're not the fancy ones, but they will at least help quench your thirst for beautiful nodding little white lanterns :)

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  6. My deepest sympathies Anna, (dear Walrus, my Fav, boo hoo), looking forward to seeing the survivors bloom.

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  7. Oh how sad to lose such treasures! I always loved all the different snowdrops in the grounds when I was at Houghall Hortic College in Durham, they are so subtle and enchanting.

    The Black Parsley looks exciting!

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  8. Good news about the worms - that is a relief.

    Sorry about your snowdrops, I was just about to mention the Garden article but see VP has beaten me to it. I nearly ordered some from Avon last night but then decided that if I planted them in the border my squirrels would get them or I would dig them up by mistake so I am sticking to the everyday ones

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  9. Oh that's such a shame about your snowdrops Anna. They must have looked lovely all grouped together in their pots. But good news on the worm front - feisty little fellas! I'm urging on them on...

    Jeanne
    x

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  10. So sad about your snowdrops...I am also guilty of occasionally digging around if things seem late to the party. Leaving well enough alone doesn't seem to be in my nature ;-). Love that melanselinum! would you share where you're getting seed...it looks drool-worthy!

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  11. It is so sad indeed. Now is time to spring back..... as snow drops and melts... ~bangchik

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  12. Now there was me thinking of keeping the more unusual Snowdrops in pots after mine did not come up last year. It seems there is no easy answer if you have lost some of yours. The one consistent thing about gardening is that every year is different!

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  13. After reading your post I will resist going out to the garden now that the snow has thawed and poking around. Sorry to hear about your snowdrops. Maybe you can get a few bulbs from a neighbor gardener, although it might be hard to replace those named favorites.

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  14. Hi Anna - I don't know how to reply to your comment - I use canons - most of the pictures are taken with a 350D - which is a fairly old canon and a variety of lenses

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  15. So sorry to hear about your lost snowdrops, Anna. I have a feeling the tulips in one of my garden areas may have met the same fate. But I did plant more last fall, so let's hope they take their place. The garden is always changing--you may have lost your swowdrops, but the new seeds sound like a great find.

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All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at : thegreentapestry@gmail.com

Namasté

- Anna.