Dividing Snowdrops in the green
Read the German text – The calendar says spring has started this week, and the weather seems to have been listening. Even though the nights are still quite cold, with the thermometer sinking dangerously close to night frosts, the new season has really started at the Garden academy. All our gardeners are now back from their winter break it is wonderful to see them all again. The first big deliveries of herbaceous perennials and herbs are filling out the tables again. The trees and shrubs that were lovingly tucked away in sheltered corners under thick layers of leaves, are now all being taken out of their winter quarters, showing eager signs of life.
Strong new shoots on the roses
Particularly the roses, tucked between the greenhouses, have done wonderfully well and have already big, strong shoots. In November we received a large delivery of freshly potted roses from David Austin in England, which have been able to produce nice, strong roots all winter, ready to go on sale this spring. (Although we do this every year, this year we ordered more, worried about transport systems breaking down as Brexit happens. Little did we know that it would not be a political change causing delivery problems but that instead a virus lames supply-chains world-wide!) Don’t wait too long with pruning your roses: as long as the nights stay cool, plants grow carefully, but as soon as the temperatures rise this will change!
As spring is springing into action, and the birds are looking for suitable nesting places, the bulb season is coming into full swing. The first ones, snowdrops and winter aconites, are almost done for this year. A few later Snowdrop cultivars are still going strong, but most are finished. Now is the time to look out the larger, well established patches to lift and divide them. After flowering is an excellent time of year to do so, as they still have sufficient time to make new roots and settle in their new location before they go dormant again. It’s what the English call splitting plants in the green. In England it is also possible to order snowdrops in the green and it’s the best time to plant them successfully.
Self-seeding winter aconites
Winter aconites are great self-seeders. Make sure the seedheads are allowed to ripen and dry, so they can scatter their seeds around the plant, or, alternatively, take the patience to collect the seed and scatter them elsewhere where you think their cheerful yellow flowers would look good. They will take a few years to bulk up and become large enough to reach flowering stage, but it is definitely the easiest way of establishing larger colonies of naturalised smaller bulbs. They look so good at the foot of larger trees or shrubs, in large, sunny, yellow carpets, dotted with tufts of white snowdrops!
James the Gardener
On Friday the 13th March we will be launching an exciting new project. All of last summer we have been making a series of short films about various garden themes such as how to divide your snowdrops, how to prune a climbing or a shrub rose, what to plant in a raised bed so that it looks attractive and produce something to eat through the season. For this we not only have teamed up with a professional film team, but a delightful English gardener whom we have known for many years. James Foggin is known to many of you who have attended one his courses, or joined him on our garden tour last summer. With his usual humour he parts with his great professional knowledge on many topics. Watch for yourself as he shows you how to divide your snowdrops (and prune your roses!) on Friday 13th March, from 3pm on:
I hope you will enjoy this new string to our bow, and subscribe to his future films. Happy gardening!