Snowdrops

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Joanna Savage

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Snowdrops
« on: February 17, 2014, 09:44:44 AM »
Our principal road to town is closed for landslide repairs. On the Diversion road I saw this drift of snowdrops. I am afraid the reduction in photo size makes it difficult to see detail of the flowers.

Might they be endemic to this area? There are several drifts scattered around the valley, all well separated. As well there is no real history of growing ornamentals in gardens around here until recently, so perhaps they are.

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Fleur Pavlidis

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Re: Snowdrops
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2014, 10:27:42 AM »
Strangely Blamey's Mediterranean Wild Flowers doesn't mention snowdrops in Italy at all, but perhaps you're in the mountains? Freda Cox has just published a new book A Gardener's Guide to Snowdrops which I believe has a chapter on native habitats. I'll consult it when I next visit Sparoza where there's a copy unless  you get an earlier answer.
MGS member, Greece. I garden in Attica, Greece and Mt Goulinas (450m) Central Greece

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Alisdair

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Re: Snowdrops
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2014, 10:57:58 AM »
Kew's 2010 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families does show Galanthus nivalis, the common snowdrop, as being native to Italy (and Freda Cox's splendid book says it's native right across western, central and southern Europe from the Pyrenees to the Ukraine.
G. reginae-olgae also occurs in Italy. The simplest way of telling it from nivalis is that its leaves show only scarcely if at all while it's flowering, whereas the common snowdrop's leaves are much more developed already then - as in your photo, Joanna. Most forms of it also flower much earlier than the common snowdrop, some in autumn.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2014, 10:59:39 AM by Alisdair »
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

Joanna Savage

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Re: Snowdrops
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2014, 06:59:07 AM »
Thanks to Alisdair and Fleur for help. These snowdrops are very particular about their location. It must be damp dappled shade, almost always on a slope, especially a bank at the side of the road which is mown once a year They occur at about 250-300  m. alt.

Umbrian

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Re: Snowdrops
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2014, 07:33:01 AM »
Lucky you Joanna I have never found any Snowdops in our area of Umbria but we do get that other wonderful early flowererAconites although in recent years they seem to be disappearing at an alarming rate. I remember taking a walk through the woods above us in our early days here and seeing an autumn ploughed field covered with them. I suppose the increasing use of herbicides and pesticides by the local farmers has a lot to do with their demise.
MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 19 years. Recently moved from my original house and now planning and planting a new small garden.

Hilary

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Re: Snowdrops
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2014, 10:13:25 AM »
I see you have learned how to use the italics.
I am about to study the instructions

Al this talk about snowdrops is making me quite envious, I haven't seen one for years
MGS member
Living in Korinthos, Greece.
No garden but two balconies, one facing south and the other north.
Most of my plants are succulents which need little care

Umbrian

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Re: Snowdrops
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2014, 02:04:35 PM »
Gosh - what have I done now? Life is never dull with all this new technology to try to absorb :)
Good luck Hilary with your attempts at italics.
MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 19 years. Recently moved from my original house and now planning and planting a new small garden.

Trevor Australis

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Re: Snowdrops
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2014, 11:00:58 PM »
Hilary, take the plunge and buy a few snowies, or beg/ borrow some of the local sp if you can. I find they are generally pretty good doers in our garden and seed about quite well. In our sun-baked conditions I plant snowdrops where they get dappled shade in summer and open sunlight in winter. The bulbs do not seem to mind being among the roots of deciduous trees and shrubs tho' a dusting of fertiliser every year helps them grow well. I find the doubles can struggle to perform well, and the yellow kinds are decidedly miffy. They are not strong growers anyway so I don't bother with them. But the 'ordinary' sp are wonderful here in Winter. Of course, the flowering season, is rushed in comparison to the UK and Europe where prolonged cold spells retard flowering. Here it just doesn't get that cold so early, mid- and late season forms make a continuous show for about 6 weeks. And that is good enough for me.

In our 'no dig' garden the bulbs set plenty of seed which germinates freely in the autumn following flowering. The first good rains see the baby leaves sprout where the seed pods have drooped to the soil and shed their seeds. Ours are mixed with white Cyclamen hederifolium which also self-sow. They look great together and are so reliable and easy.
M Land. Arch., B. Sp. Ed. Teacher, traveller and usually climate compatible.

Hilary

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Re: Snowdrops
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2014, 06:38:50 AM »
Trevor,
 Many thanks for all the hints on snowdrop growing. I will see if anyone coming over from the UK this year can bring me some bulbs. I have never seen them for sale in the local shops. After years of trying , not very successfully, to  grow daffodils, crocus and Dutch Iris in pots I decided freesia were the only thing for our balcony. They come up year after year, a few are in bloom now.

I too was shocked to read about the devastation in your garden and am glad you are managing to tackle the damage to your plants so positively
MGS member
Living in Korinthos, Greece.
No garden but two balconies, one facing south and the other north.
Most of my plants are succulents which need little care

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Alisdair

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Re: Snowdrops
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2014, 08:41:03 AM »
Hilary, if you are getting someone to bring out bulbs, the one you might find easiest on your balcony is Galanthus elwesii, which seems to stand up to fierce summer heat better than the usual G. nivalis
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

Hilary

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Re: Snowdrops
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2014, 09:42:00 AM »
Many thanks. I will write the name on a list
MGS member
Living in Korinthos, Greece.
No garden but two balconies, one facing south and the other north.
Most of my plants are succulents which need little care

Trevor Australis

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Re: Snowdrops
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2014, 01:12:58 AM »
Alisdair is right, Galanthus elwesii is very hardy and reliable. It has several hybrids and various selected forms which are also excellent. Just keep the pots as cool as you can, especially during the dormant season. Move them out of direct sunshine if it strikes and heats up the pots otherwise there's a risk the bulbs will cook, or abort the formative flower bds that have formed deep in the heart of the bulb. Don't forget to feed them. I use tomato fertiliser but anything with a low Nitrogen ratio and higher Phosphorus and Potassium in comparison. It would be interesting to observe if pot grown snowies will set seed.

tn
M Land. Arch., B. Sp. Ed. Teacher, traveller and usually climate compatible.

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Alisdair

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Re: Snowdrops
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2014, 03:33:42 PM »
I have had G. reginae-olgae set fertile seed (one enormous pod!) in a pot.
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

Trevor Australis

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Re: Snowdrops
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2014, 10:42:56 PM »
I forgot to add that one of our MGS members, Freda Cox, has recently published a book on snowdrops which is getting enthusiastic reviews in English language magazines. I like it too, even tho' I will never be able to obtain more than a handful of the hundreds of hybrids she has illustrated with her own water-colour flower portraits.
M Land. Arch., B. Sp. Ed. Teacher, traveller and usually climate compatible.

Hilary

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Re: Snowdrops
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2014, 02:51:18 PM »
I was sent this photo on Sunday of a snowdrop growing on the east side of Taygetus.
The photo was taken in October 2012.
MGS member
Living in Korinthos, Greece.
No garden but two balconies, one facing south and the other north.
Most of my plants are succulents which need little care