Snowdrops Are Coming

– Posted in: Seasonal Gardening

We are always thrilled when Harry Pierik, one of our favorite Dutch garden designers, writes a guest post. His ‘Hidden City Garden’ is mesmerizing. To learn more about Harry, visit his websiteFran Sorin

Snowdrops are coming.

Until now, it is a mild winter in our “Hidden City garden”

Still some kinds of plants are blooming , winter bloomers in abundance and the season of the snowdrops is dawning.

It’s time to prepare.

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Photo above ~ Small deepened path to the second part of the “Hidden City Garden” to the lawn and the flower borders. In the background to the left of the centre you can see the brown branches of the bushes which are in the border, however the snowdrops on the ground are not yet visible from here.


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First we take a retrospect to Autumn. The border is still a colorful sight with flowering perennials and shrubs.


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About mid-December, many plants are brown and frayed and when the stems snap, it’s time to clean up the flower borders and prepare the arrival of snowdrops. In our garden the snowdrops grow in the flower borders instead of in the lawn, so first of all we have to create space. Pieces of- and  dead plants perennials are cut and removed. The shrubs are pruned in shape and the flowerbed is gently raked.


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Helleborus need to be cut back so that the new flowers and leaves are not masked by the previous season’s remains. Especially because the old leaves are very often affected by fungal diseases. These leaves don’t go to the compost heap, but disappear into the bin. Besides you make space for the snowdrops which otherwise languish in the shadow of the leaves of the Helleborus.


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All the other material not affected by diseases goes to the compost heap. If the soil is clean new compost is spread over the soil so that the soil is pretty dark and contrasts with the emerging snowdrops. More importantly, the annual new layer of compost stimulates the soil life. This will not only develop snowdrops but also the other bulbs, perennials and shrubs in the border develop well. So applying a layer of mulch is both beautiful and practical, a golden combination.


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Depending on how the winter goes, there will be more and more snowdrops in bloom.


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In late February, early March, the flower beds are dotted with thousands of snowdrops. There are over 200 different varieties in the garden. The first bloom in late December, following by some in January and most of them in February, March. Top left you just see the large leaf of the Rhododendron rex. Front left of center flowers the Helleborus thibetanus.


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Now wait awhile until the sun is shining and then the snowdrops open. ”

Harry’s previous articles can be read by clicking on:


Hidden City Garden In Spring

Two Outstanding Flowering Trees At Hidden City

Little Front Garden of Villa Landwijk

Fran Sorin

Fran is the author of the highly-acclaimed book, Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening, which Andrew Weil, M.D., recommends as "a profound and inspiring book."  

A graduate of the University of Chicago with Honors in Psychology, she is also a gardening and creativity expert, coach, inspirational speaker, CBS radio news gardening correspondent, and Huffington Post Contributor.

Learn more about Fran and get free resources that will help you improve your life at

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Fran Sorin
4 comments… add one

Leave a Comment

Marilyn Cornwell January 17, 2014, 9:11 am

I am so jealous that my Niagara garden is snow-covered right now without any snowdrops appearing so far this year.

Your image is beautiful and wonderfully portrays how snowdrops are wonderful winter flowers.

Fran Sorin January 20, 2014, 9:20 am

With snowdrops spring begins.
But if there is snow it can take a long time for the spring.
In a next post I will show some more snowdrops from my garden. Harry

ali gutierrez January 20, 2014, 2:47 pm

Dear Fran

For the impatience our first fathers, were expelled from the paradise.tomorrow the snow is coming back to Long Island.The ghosts said will be 8 inches of snow.

Fran Sorin February 3, 2014, 2:38 am

Dear Ali-
Sorry for the delay in responding to you. As I write this, I see that Philadelphia – my hometown- is being hit again with another storm today. Sit tight- spring will be here before you know it. And how sweet it is! Thanks for your comment. With gratitude – Fran

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