Blooming bulbs for early spring
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).
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).