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Keep on the drops; Snowy delights last till spring; Gardening.

Byline: with Adrienne Wild

SNOWDROPS are already pushing through frosted ground to reach the light - ready to welcome the spring.

With careful selection you can continue with a snowy carpet right through to mid-March.

Give your lawn a light dusting of white blooms with varieties such as Galanthus Flore Pleno that has honeyscented double flowers.

There are hundreds of different kinds of snowdrops. Their fans are known as galanthophiles, after the snowdrop's Latin name, Galanthus.

Leaves vary from one snowdrop variety to another and many blooms are scented.

Galanthus nivalis, the British native species, is the best snowdrop to grow in sheets for covering bare soil with sparkling blooms. In flowerbeds and borders they can also be used as punctuation marks in formal displays and planted beneath ground cover to give an extra tier of colour.

Perfume

The vigorous Atkinsii is an affordable snowdrop with larger pearshaped blooms.

Plant plenty. It is a magnet for bees that wake up early in the year.

Galanthus S Arnott is the best variety for scent, releasing a strong honey perfume from its single bellshaped flowers.

Plant it close to paths against the backdrop of dark green sculpted box and in pots on the patio alongside heathers, hellebores and cyclamen or in a pool around the base of winter flowering witch hazels.

The Turkish snowdrop Galanthus elwesii makes an excellent cut flower. It looks stunning grown in clumps at the base of a tree or in the tiniest gaps on a rockery.

Snowdrops are mostly sold in the green, which means they are dug up when the flowers fade and the leaves are still green. Plant them as soon as possible and incorporate some grit into the soil to improve drainage.

Settle the plants in at the level that they were planted before they were lifted, which you'll see from where the leaves turn white.

After planting, the snowdrops should quickly recover from the move and continue growing.

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Title Annotation:Features; Opinion Column
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Feb 4, 2018
Words:324
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