This week has seen all the signs of spring: the first hellebore, the first crocus, the spring thaw. Now, only slightly out of order, we're seeing the signs that winter is drawing to a close. The nodding of the snowdrops.
They've been up for a long time, but they've been sticking straight out of the ground, waiting until they think it's safe.
This year, it seemed like they'd been doing this for longer than usual, but then I took a peek through my camera roll. I have a LOT of pictures of snowdrops from late February over the years, and this is pretty much the same as other years. They poke out of the ground in January and put out those green solar panels, then they take their time to nod and open - usually the very end of February or beginning of March, when hopefully there are a few insects to assist with pollination.
Of course, they use pollination to spread themslves through the woods. But once the flowers drop, I'll give them a hand as well. The best time to propagate Galanthus is while they're still green, but after the petals have dropped.
Snowdrops are indeed non-native plants, as am I. But they (and I) are well-behaved and they don't seem to get in the way of anything else that's growing near them. I have them scattered among the (also non-native) hellebores in the Wall Garden, and if my hopes are realized, one day soon I'll be able to share that iconic photo of a woodland expanse of snowdrops, taken right there in the Wall Garden.