Last of the late snowdrops – and snowy pictures of my garden

Patience often pays off. I’ve been watching the prices for this new and expensive snowdrop. Then, when most of the flowers had gone over, the garden centre reduced the price! It was my lucky day. Galanthus Polar Bear is my new favourite snowdrop, and it’s a quite a beauty, isn’t it.

I managed to find a pot with flowers still in bud. It’s a very late flowering type with short pedicels, making the flowers fling out and look up at you. So unusual, as most snowdrops bow their heads and look down. It’s got a lot of charm, and is the star of my potting shed windowsill at the moment.

While we are still talking about snowdrops, I thought I’d show you some snowy photos of the garden. It’s been the mildest wettest winter on record here, and this is the first, and only snow we’ve had so far. It makes the garden look magical and hides all imperfections (fortunately.) No weeds are on show, and brambles look ornamental with an iced topping of snow. Here you can see my greenhouse, polytunnel and potting shed set up, all close together to save walking too far between them. In front of the potting shed there’s some renovated 1930s plant nursery trolleys. Very useful for moving plant pots about, and for staging potted displays. My second-hand poly tunnel has doors both ends which is great for good air circulation. The 20ft Alton Cedar greenhouse is also second-hand and renovated by my husband. We painted it black, and made matching black staging inside. Beyond is my cut flower and veg patch and then the orchard, before you reach the paddock gate leading to the ridgeway footpath.

In the exotic border in front of the potting shed, I’ve left stems and seed heads intact for birds to eat and insects to find shelter. These innula seeds look pretty with a topping of snow.

The horseshoe pond can viewed from the potting shed windows. There’s a gently-sloping boulder beach to stand on, and this gives easy access for hedgehogs, frogs, newts and grass snakes. It’s very calming to stand and watch the ripples from raindrops. Today the pond is a cauldron of frogs, mating and producing frog spawn.

From the pond you can see the cut flower and veg patch. My hazel sweet pea supports have weathered three named storms on consecutive weekends. Really, if they can cope with all that, I think they will stand firm and strong for the summer display. There’s little slab paths between the plots so I don’t have to walk on the soil. It’s a no-dig garden inspired by Charles Dowding who’s been a patient and valued mentor these last few years, along with his partner Stephanie Hafferty. They’ve both given me lots of advice and I’ve got more value out of my plot thanks to their suggestions.

At the end of the veg plot there’s a small orchard, rather neglected. We’ve pruned it this winter which means we might lose some of the crop in the summer. But over a few years we will get the trees back into shape and down to a manageable size for harvesting. Under the trees I’m planning a wild flower patch. I’m going to leave some grass and see what happens, I will sow some plug plants in another area, and finally I’ll try a wild flower lawn, ready seeded. I’ll report back on the project.

Finally here’s the view down the field hedge tunnel. This path is made from bark and brushwood chippings from the garden, put through my new Stihl electric shredder. It saves a fortune on bagged bark supplies, plus helps me recycle waste from the garden.

Thank you for reading. Please share on any social media platform , and get in touch and let me know what your garden looks like just now. Comments box is right at the bottom of the page.

Links: Stihl shredders : https://www.stihl.co.uk/STIHL-Products/099364/Garden-shredders.aspx

Polar bear : https://www.avonbulbs.co.uk/spring-planted-bulbs-and-snowdrops/galanthus-snowdrops/collectors-snowdrops/galanthus-polar-bear

29 thoughts on “Last of the late snowdrops – and snowy pictures of my garden

  1. I’ve really enjoyed this post, Karen, so lovely to see your beautiful garden, especially in the snow. That snowdrop was a scoop – what luck! I hadn’t realised that snowdrops flower at different times but I went to a talk given by Val Bourne and then read somewhere (possibly Kew magazine) that a November flowering snowdrop has been discovered in Turkey – exciting, but I like to think of snowdrops as a sign that winter is turning towards spring. Hope the weather gets warmer and drier for you. xx

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    • Thank you Caro. My polar bear snowdrop is fully open today. Must admit, it seems a bit wrong now amongst the daffodils. I think I’ll keep it in a pot and leave it on the garden table. It will look out of place in the garden. But warmer and drier today. Xx

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    • Oh Ron! You have made my day. It is rather scruffy round the edges, with lots of weeds absolutely everywhere. But it has a kind of magic in its ‘secret garden’ feel. And certainly the wildlife, owls, hares, ducks on the pond, grass snakes in the compost, all seem to thrive here and live in harmony with me as I try to garden. Thanks again for your very kind words. It’s much appreciated.

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  2. Thanks so much for this tour, Karen, it’s always good to see all the different parts of your garden. And it’s hard to believe your ‘snow’ – I suppose we had the lightest of sprinklings which lasted perhaps 10 or 15 minutes, but that was all

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    • Thank you Brian. It only lasted a day, and then it was back to rain and floods. We’ve had a nice sunny day today, and temperatures are rising. Do hope we get some nice spring weather soon. Enjoy the weekend. Karen

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  3. Pruning improves the quality of the remaining fruit. Almost all of the deciduous fruit trees that I inspect are not pruned adequately. Renovation limits productions only because there is not much fruiting stem grown down low after it has been shaded out for many years. If your trees retained much of their lower growth, they should still produce.

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  4. Just about to go our to brave the sunny, very cold weather. Itmight sleet on me the moment I venture out. If I saw one of those Snowdrops, I do not think I would give the fickle weather another thought!

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    • Thank you. Oh, it’s just started sleeting here. And blowing a gale again. What an autumn/ winter we have had. So ready for some nice weather now!!! All the best. Karen xx

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      • I couldn’t agree with you more Karen. We are definitely ready for an improvement in the weather. I risked putting a pair of jeans on the line to blow at gale force for an hour. One peg gave way the others held fast.

        The evergreens have held fast. I think the perennials are continuing to hibernate and the Weigela have decided to sit back and wait rather show signs of new life too soon! So be it.

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      • I too have hung out some washing, with trepidation today. It was nearly dry and blowing horizontal when we had the most massive downpour. I’m setting a washing line up in poly tunnel!

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  5. I always enjoy your photos of snowdrops. They are probably blooming in my area, but I haven’t found a spot to watch. In the town where we used to live, I knew two areas where snowdrops always performed. I bought some a year or so ago for our garden, and they never came up. I can kill things just by thinking about them!

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    • Thank you Anne. Yes, I sometimes think I can kill plants just by looking at them. My mum, on the other hand, is a natural gardener and has green fingers. Everything thrives when she looks at them. They wouldn’t dare die on her. Have a good week Anne. Xx

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    • I’m writing my review of the chipper later this week Eliza. There are pluses and minuses. On the whole, it’s a plus. But they are very noisy and a bit fearsome! All the best. Karen

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