Galanthus nivalis

It’s Friday so it’s Looking Good in the Garden. We are right in the middle of a storm. It’s been blowing a gale overnight and now even thought the sun is shining there’s a roaring above my garden studio as the wind whips through the bare branches of the oak trees. But Snowdrops are out in full force in our Bluebell Wood nodding their tiny heads in the high speed gusts.

The first snowdrops flower in our garden in early January. It’s officially mid winter but to me the great white rafts of tiny snowdrops announce that winter is on the way out and spring is just around the corner. Snowdrops are a welcome sight during dull grey winter days. Especially today when it is blowing a gale! There are several distinct patches of them, all the same species as far as I can tell… it’s the common snowdrop Galanthus nivalis. In our garden the snowdrops in full sun always flower first and those in shady places flower later.


Galanthus nivalis
The common snowdrop is widely grown throughout gardens and parks in the UK. It’s a hardy plant producing tiny nodding white flowers in early January and February.

Snowdrops are easy and quick to establish – especially if you plant them whilst they have visible foliage. That’s known as “in the green” when good results are most likely. Dry bulbs are more difficult to get going… but not impossible.

Snowdrops grow best in moist soil with some shade. They need plenty of sunshine for a couple of months after flowering so that the leaves can return nutrients to the bulbs for flowering next year.

Each bulb produces a single white flower. Look closely and you’ll see pale green markings and narrow grey-green leaves.
Height 15cm / 6 inches          Spread 10cm /4 inches

Planting suggestions:

  • Grow them with hostas and ferns in a woodland garden.
  • Plant a row under a deciduous hedge such as Hawthorn, Beech or Hornbeam)
  • Naturalise in grass under fruit trees with daffodils.
  • Plant them with primroses around tall deciduous shrubs in a mixed border.
  • Grow them with dark hellebores to highlight their blooms

Helleborus 04

We had just a few snowdrops when we first moved here. Since then they have multiplied and I’ve helped them on their way. Each year after flowering I dig up congested clumps and gently break them apart. Most books tell you to replant the bulbs individually but I prefer to plant a group of five or six together. It’s much quicker and they establish good clumps quickly too.


In spite of storm Gertrude our Snowdrops are Looking Good in the Garden.
What’s looking good in your garden today?

If you would like to join in with Looking Good in the Garden this week I would be delighted to see what’s happening in your part of the world.

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Love GillianThanks very much for joining in. I am looking forward to seeing what’s happening where you live. Hope you can spend some time in your garden this weekend.

Happy Gardening    Gillian 🙂


21 thoughts on “Galanthus nivalis

  1. Your snowdrops are looking lovely. They’re such cheerful plants at this time of year. We woke up to stormy weather too but have blue skies now.

    1. Hi Marie, readers cannot access your post. I think you need to change the privacy settings from private to public. (The settings are on the right of your post just above the publish button where it says Visibility)

  2. I love your snowdrops. It does take a few years to get some good clumps together but once they are established it is so easy to keep the numbers growing. Lovely.

    1. I split the clumps up and move them around and they self seed too… there are always a few new ones popping up in strange places!

  3. And now we are on to Henry, it’ s just one storm after the other. Snowdrops and hellebores are indeed the joys of winter, what would we do without them?

    1. Yes it’s been quite wild here for a few days. It does seem to be easing off now but I must confess I have been thinking about the lovely warm sunny days we usually have in March today!

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