One day I hope that there will be bountiful drifts of snowdrops and aconites in front of our cottage.
At the moment there is a patch of grass. The south westerly aspect means sun all afternoon. There have always been small patches of snowdrops in spring, a few aconites and a little later, pale blue crocuses open like stars on bright days.
The gravel driveway takes up most of the space from this grass to the gate.
When I decided to divide and replant my snowdrops, I twigged that many years ago the gravel must have reached the cottage wall as there’s a deep layer of hardcore four inches beneath the grass. I’d found a small stand in Debden that sold snowdrops in the green for 50p a pot. In a wave of enthusiasm I bought five pots.
It took me a good couple of hours to plant them. There was no question of dividing the resident groups. I had imagined a long relaxed swathe of snowdrops but the hardcore limited my dream within a few seconds of digging. Small holes were dug and three snowdrops were placed in each hole with some fertiliser.
Last year the bulbs came up having doubled in quantity over the summer. This year these small snowdrop communities have multiplied again and there are bigger patches in the grass. Still just the size of saucers but we are gradually getting a better show, although it looks more like a snowdrop version of Twister than the lush patches that I’d really enjoy. Perhaps this is the year that I remove the turf, excavate the stones and prepare a new grassy bed for all my snowdrops.
Meanwhile Danny has been alerted to the delicate tips peeping through the grass and is careful to avoid them when taking shortcuts to pick bay leaves after dark.
This past week, I’ve been enjoying the drift of aconites in the photo above. They flower under a huge horse chestnut tree on the estate where I’m working. We have a few aconites dotted around our garden but nothing like this display. When the sun shines, they shimmer like a beautiful embroidered cloth. Laid out with care and then forgotten in the grass.
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