greentapestry : Not A Single Drop

Saturday 21 November 2020

Not A Single Drop

Not just a single 'drop but 236 of them have been making their way into the greenhouse since the beginning of the month. I'm talking about my collection of potted named snowdrops. I have an inkling that the annual migration to warmer climes started earlier than than usual this year. This was because we had a most wet October and I was getting worried that my bulbs might simply drown. Funnily enough as soon as they started to come in the weather improved and the first two weeks or so of November were quite pleasant and bright on the whole. 

Until the cold winter of 2010/2011 my snowdrops lived outside all year round but that winter put pay to that state of affairs when I lost a good proportion of my precious collection. Now they come in for some winter pampering in a cold greenhouse which is ventilated every day unless it is bitterly cold. I have a small electric heater which goes on at a low temperature if frost is predicted. 

The task of gathering them all in takes considerably longer than it used to. Up to a couple of years ago I used to carry in crates of 24 one at a time. Each pot is topped dressed with horticultural grit so the crated weigh a fair bit. Last year himself was in charge as my right hand was in plaster so I directed proceedings. I am not longer able to carry the crates for any distance so this year I've bought them in two or three pots at a time and then they have gone back into the crates. I only have seven crates so some are in mushroom trays and some fitted in wherever. Each pot has a little well underneath so careful inspections have been made to make sure that they were not harbouring any stowaway molluscs. Indeed some of them were so these trespassers were soon shown the door.

Once all the pots were in I have then examined any that were still not showing any emerging snouts or didn't have signs of roots showing towards the bottom of the pots. Generally if you can't see anything above or below the snowdrop at this time of year it's not good news and sadly so it proved to be the case with a few snowdrops. Now the for the final part of the task which will be to sort my beauties into alphabetical order so I know what's what. Despite the numbers only about hundred of them are named. Others are spares to share or swap with snowdrop friends but the remainder of them are simply labelled 'unknown' as they have lost their original labels (most inconsiderate of them). The U section will soon be sorted with no need to refer to records.

As all this has been happening the first few 'drops have started to open. The first to open is labelled as 'Three Ships'. You can see the photo at the top of the post. I'm not sure whether it is 'Three Ships' but maybe one of my snowdrop friends can confirm. The second which is above is 'The Pearl'. Apologies for the grainy photos which taken using my phone. The third 'drop to open was 'Faringdon Double'. Before long there will be a veritable avalanche of snowdrops for me to wander at in the depths of winter and before that there is so much joy in the anticipation. 


  1. 236! Now there's an admission (even if a lot of them are spares)!! What a task it must be, bringing them all inside, but an enjoyable seasonal rite of passage, I would imagine. The markings on your questionable Three Ships are not as distinctive as the norm, so the jury is perhaps out on this one. My current Three Ships was a replacement last season and it is not showing yet, but Fieldgate Prelude and Faringdon Double are pushing through, along with a number of other less reliably early ones. Your veritable avalanche will be asight to behold... ��

  2. And I thought I was running out of greenhouse space!
    I shall look forward to seeing the drops emerge. You always tempt me with new varieties to add to the collection.


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