Autumn is the time of year when we all start putting the garden to bed for the winter. However in a garden like ours we are tidying ready for the explosion of bulbs that will appear at the beginning of the year! Being careful where you put your feet makes the job ten times harder, as already the bulbs are starting to wake from their summer slumber. We find it important to remove all leaf litter from around the bulbs as this is where the slugs like to hide, and there's nothing worse than them enjoying a feast of one of your favourite spring bulbs! Once tidied, we like to put a mulch of wood chips around the bulbs, this helps to make the garden look tidy, suppress weeds and makes an unpleasant surface for slugs and snails.
The first Snowdrop to show for the season is Galanthus elwesii Hiemalis Group 'Barnes' making an appearance by the end of October, we can expect flowers up until Christmas depending on the weather. The well-known autumn Snowdrop Galanthus reginae-olgae subsp. reginae-olgae has flowered as early as September for us, but this year we are still waiting for it to get going. An interesting Snowdrop that likes being baked in the summer months, it flowers before its leaves appear.