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I love seasons. The magical cycle is so exciting to watch in the garden. Late Summer is probably my favourite in all its spectacular colourful glory. Then again,  there is something very calming and poignant about Autumn with its golden foliage and textured seedheads.  Winter, dormant and quiet allows us all the time to reflect on our gardens and re-design and re-structure our schemes and ideas for our spaces.  And yet Spring has a very special feel to it. That first leaf which unfurls itself in the garden, the buds on the trees. It siginifies a new beginning, new life and a new chapter in the garden. With this in mind I wanted to create a planting scheme which is a rewarding sight this early in Spring.  Not only that,  I also wanted the idea to look fantastic throughout the year as it has mainly evergreen planting.

The plan for January is to create a beautiful and subtle mix of evergreen and perennial planting. I have created a mix of some staple January stars such as shade loving Hellebores,  beautiful blue-berried Viburnum, spiky shaped Festuca grasses and the lovely delicate Snowdrop.  In combination these flowers will be a rewarding collection of plants in your semi shaded garden border or planted individually into pots and grouped together.  Over the next few weeks I will focus in on the individual plants in the scheme.  This week is the Snowdrop.

galanthus 2

PLANT CHOICE Snowdrop : Galanthus nivalis

There is something incredibly special about the first Snowdrop flowers. At the time of the year when there is virtually no flower showing its blooms the snowdrop signifies the start of Spring. It’s delicate tiny flowers are a welcome sight from January to February and every time I see them raise their heads I know Spring is near. The name Galanthus comes from the Greek ‘Gala’ meaning milk and ‘Anthus’ meaning flower.  Snowdrops like partially shady moist and humus rich soil and they do well in many locations such as slightly shady rocky outcrops and woodlands.

Care: These lovely little plants will seed readily but you are best to lift and divide them after

flowering  every 2-3 years (between from March and May.) This will stop them hybridizing.

Simply replant the bulbs after lifting and make sure to water in well. Having said that, I have had them planted in my own garden for about ten years and they still look fantastic, without ever lifting them.Within this design I suggest placing them in the foreground of the plan. Their height and

delicate nature means they need a little space to shine. In my opinion they are at their most beautiful on their own surrounded with a little bit of moss. These delicate little flowers are available from Homeland stores.


I love the work by the amazing ceramic artist Bettina Seitz. She makes the most exquisitely subtle garden sculptures based on human form. The talented artist whose work is in Belgravia Gallery in London was also chosen to create the Jameson Dublin International Film festival Volta award.

Published in the Irish Independent Weekend Magazine in January 2015


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