Bloom­ing bulbs for early spring

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Galan­thus ni­valis (com­mon snow­drop)

Its pretty, white flow­ers with green, heart-shaped cen­tral mark­ings are ben­e­fi­cial to early bees, who love their honey-scented blooms as much as we do. It flour­ishes in dap­pled shade. Plant 10cm (4in) deep, in moist, well-drained, hu­mus-rich soil, that won’t com­pletely dry out in sum­mer.

There’s a myth that says snow­drops don’t grow well from planted bulbs, and should only be planted ‘in the green’ as plants in spring­time. Ac­tu­ally, snow­drops grow well from dor­mant bulbs, but you need to get plant­ing now. Bulbs dry out quickly af­ter be­ing lifted, and if they be­come des­ic­cated they will not grow. TOP TIP Com­bine with Cy­cla­men coum to add daubs of pink and white un­der trees, over lawns, on banks and in beds and bor­ders. Height: 15cm (6in).

Anemone nemorosa

An ut­terly charm­ing lit­tle plant as its soft white, star-shaped flow­ers light up the ground un­der de­cid­u­ous trees, bring­ing joy to the gar­den. Anemone nemorosa spreads slowly, so buy more tu­bers than you’ll need. Soak tu­bers overnight in a bucket of wa­ter. Plant tu­bers hor­i­zon­tally, 5cm (2in) deep, in drifts un­der de­cid­u­ous trees, along paths and in shaded ar­eas. TOP TIP Plant with blue­bells, prim­roses and other wood­land plants. Height: 15cm (6in).

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