Discover more from WILD WAY
GALANTHUS 'SAM ARNOTT'
POT'S GROWING ON? 03/02/2023
Thank you to ecologist Mick Crawley and horticulture lecturer Michael Myers for identifying our early large snowdrops (above) as likely to be Galanthus ‘Sam Arnott’. Reading descriptions of the cultivar, it certainly seems to match. From its slightly domed petals (outer perianth segments), to it being sterile and not self-sowing, which these don’t seem to do. My top snowdrop is still the species Galanthus nivalis, but I certainly prefer this to the less-dainty large snowdrop alternatives with too-chunky leaves. Thanks to the ident, I will probably now spread these around a little, as highlights among the smaller species.
I gone and done a tree! After much umming and erring with the trees I have in pots and bare root, I finally made a decision and planted our first tree on the farm. I’m trying an asian pear, Pyrus pyrifolia 'Shinseiki', introduced to me lining our old street in London. I’ve no idea if it’s hardy enough to survive our wet, cold winters, it’s an experiment, though all other pears here have rotted at the base. I planted it in the orchard along with a new cooking apple.
My followers on Twitter and Instagram have, rightly, been laughing at me for breaking two spades within five minutes trying to dig out a Hydrangea. People recommended a mattock (cross between a spade and pick axe) which I do need. The Hydrangea’s roots weren’t tough, our heavy soil was. The same soil that gave me gardening elbow this time last year. Lesson is to take things slower… which sadly dear reader, is a lesson I will never learn.
OK so, the two big things happening in the garden right now are: trying to decide where to plant the crab apple trees and shrubs I’ve bought and have in pots and a gentle cut back of some perennials. On the latter point, I’m waiting until at least end of February to cut most things back to help wildlife and also make my life easier, because by then everything will weakened by the weather, easy to cut. I have cut back the grass Calamagrostis brachytricha and bronze fennel on the herb patio because their shoots were coming through, as they do tend to be early, helping me not cut the new shoots later on. I leave the clippings on the ground as a mulch which, to many, won’t look neat enough but is soon covered by green.
Are you thinking of growing onions and shallots this year? I have an onion and shallot grow-along from seed if you’d like to grow with me. I’ll keep updating the page - I find growing from seed super easy.
On our way back from Scotland last week, we visited The Hermitage in Dunkeld, a short walk around a beautiful woodland and waterfall. It reminded us of Canada, largely because of the water and its huge Douglas Fir trees that evolved in Canada, towering over us, planted at various points in the last three hundred years. All that was missing from the scene were bears. I was on the hunt for red squirrels though they were sadly hiding from us.
I love the epiphytic fern, Polypodium vulgare, growing from the branches. We have it growing around us in Yorkshire too. In fact, it will grow on trees and walls anywhere in the UK that has enough rainfall.
WILD WAY is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
I’ll sign off with a closer picture of (what we think is) Galanthus ‘Sam Arnott’ to give you a closer look at the leaves and stems. This clump is ready for dividing this year when it finishes flowering. Snowdrops are popping up all over the garden right now, bringing so much excitement. The first bulb of many shooting through the soil.