Snowdrops!

The first blooms of 2016 in our garden.

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The Snowdrop Scout Party

There is a patch of Common Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) that I refer to as The Scout Party. For some reason, they always emerge first from the almost frozen ground, leading the charge while their more cautious comrades stay burrowed in the earth.

The Scout Party always causes me the most angst, as they tend to expose their flower buds to the sudden deep freezes common to February in Chicago. If you look closely at the picture above, you can the brown tips that indicate they did sustain some damage. Nevertheless, the Scout Party produced a decent number of  blooms.

Why this particular clump of Snowdrops is so eager and reckless I couldn’t say. But I appreciate their audacity.

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More Snowdrops emerging.

Meantime, all the other Snowdrops have decided it’s safe to come out. They will make a pretty sight when they all bloom together, maybe in a week or so.

I think of Snowdrops as a transitional flower. The elegant white blooms tell us that winter is coming to an end, but spring has not quite arrived, so don’t get too excited just yet. It’s the brightly colored Crocuses that tell us it’s time for giddiness of spring.

Are there Snowdrops blooming in your garden yet?

63 Comments on “Snowdrops!

  1. Your scout party has done its duty. Lovely sight. In my garden the daffodils and hyacinths are finally opening this weekend.

  2. I like that, yes, snowdrops do tell us of spring, and in our case, once they are planted in a spot against the wall, it doesn’t matter how much they are ignored they bravely come up every year….

  3. My snowdrops came up three weeks ago and are still blooming. They poked up through 3″ of snow. I’m always amazed when they do that – and always delighted by their spunky nature. (I live just south of Indy.)

  4. Over here in Berlin it’s just the same: the first snowdrops are out. Have been snowed on and survived last night’s substantial frost, if with or without damage remains to be seen. Which is weird, because Berlin is roughly 1000 km north to Chicago. Just looked it up and am very surprised to find Chicago at the height of South France and Rome.

  5. Of course, here in Puget Sound, we don’t have as distinct a winter-to-spring transition as you have. And this winter has been especially warm and the wettest on record, making it easier to find some color. Sadly, I don’t have snowdrops in my garden, but will definitely plant some this year.

    Right now I have Crocuses; a red Camellia; Forsythia; Hellebores; an Erysimum linifolium with multi-color flowers (formerly known as Cheiranthus linifolium)blooming in a pot that’s been outside all winter; primroses; and an Oregon Grape cultivar, Mahonia x media ‘Charity,’ that is showing yellow buds.

  6. Last weekend I saw snowdrops growing wild on the hills near us, this gives me more hope that I might be able to grow them in the garden. The first flowers of the year are always special.

    • That is one of the downsides of vacation! I try to time our trips so that we don’t miss anything blooming that I really love, but that’s almost impossible to do.

  7. What a lovely little scouting party! I only have a few snowdrops, and none of them have yet appeared. But then they’re usually buried under a pile of leaves, so unless I uncover them soon, I may miss them. The daffodils are poking up, however, and I was just thinking along the same lines the other day–it’s as if they’re checking out whether it’s time to make an appearance yet. After last week’s snowfall, I think they’ve decided to go back into hibernation.

  8. Our snowdrops are going over now and we now have crocus, muscari and daffs getting us all giddy. Big smiles.

  9. That’s great–“Scout party”! Theoretically, we can grow Snowdrops here in Central Texas and some do, just not me, unfortunately. I content myself with enjoying other gardeners’ bounty of Snowdrop blooms. Nice post!

  10. After warm weather, we have snow again, which means any snowdrops silly enough to stick heads above ground will be hidden. I can’t be sure, though, since I’m away from home still and don’t have a remote camera to show me what’s going on.

  11. Here is Southern Oregon we’re starting to see our Tulips emerging. You’ve inspired me to plant Snowdrops next year as well. Great Post.

  12. Your Scouts are adorable. They come up and get the garden stirring. My little patch of snowdrops have been blooming for awhile. I have my first daffodil that will open today when it warms up. Spring is trying it’s best to move in.

  13. I’m envious of how large your grouping is! I planted a lot of snowdrop bulbs many years ago, when we first moved out here, but I think many of them got eaten. The few that survived are multiplying, but it’s taking some time!

    • I like to plant a few handfuls of different small bulbs and see which ones spread the fastest. Have you tried Scilla sibirica?

  14. Nice clumps. Snowdrops are now gone in my garden. No replacement likely either. Weather here is is crazy. Midnight was 58°, today strong wind with snow on the way in the low 20°s.

    • That would make sense, though from the location it’s not obvious that would be the case. Maybe it’s in a spot that gets that much more sunshine.

  15. I always think how brave they are, showing up at the coldest time of year. Mine are in full bloom now, but it is barely warm enough most days for them to open, so I have picked quite a few to enjoy indoors. My crocus are also up and about, but again they are hardly opening to show off their colours, and it is snowing again tonight!

  16. I only have one little clump of snowdrops left, but it bloomed about 2 weeks ago. They need to be replanted every so often here.

    • Bulbs in general seems to be one of the downsides of gardening in the south. But then there are so many things you can grow that we cannot

  17. Snowdrops. What a pretty sight your scout party is! I have some in bloom too, and hellebores. (Reading comments above I had no idea Berlin was on the same latitude as Rome and the south of France. )

  18. It was only their earliness that attracted me to snowdrops until I began bringing some inside to appreciate up close and personal.

  19. Our snowdrops are mostly finished already and I understand that snow is predicted again in Chicago. Galanthus are such special harbingers of spring! Gotta love ’em!

  20. Very exciting! I looked around for them the other day, but I haven’t lifted the mulch yet. Good thing, because we had a 2-3 inch snow this morning. I’m sure they’re under there somewhere. 😉 I have a patch of Crocuses that seems to do the same thing. I’m guessing next week, with milder weather, will announce their arrival. Cheers!

    • Tomorrow’s supposed to be a nice day, if the snow melts I’m thinking I’ll rake the leaves off the Crocuses and see if they are poking up.

  21. Hello Jason, it’s amazing how early things have been here. Snowdrops are old news, we’ve had Camellias in full flower and locally the Magnolias are starting to open up but it might be yet another year where the display is spoiled by late frosts; that’s always the gamble with early spring flowering trees and shrubs.

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