The snowdrop, flower with a thousand legends

The snowdrop, flower with a thousand legends

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Nature is impatient. While spring is still far away, it offers us, from January, delicate little white bells, which do not hesitate to brave the cold and the frost to give us hope. Symbols of waiting for sunny days, snowdrops have always fascinated men, who have invented many legends to explain how this little flower dared to cross the snowpack in the heart of winter…

Eve's tears, or the angel's gift

With its 15 cm height and its small monochrome flowers in the shape of drops of milk, the snowdrop knows how to show modesty and humility. Bulbous plant of the family Amaryllidaceae, Galanthus nivalis flowers in winter in the undergrowth and rock gardens, possibly lawns. Suffice to say that nothing predestined him to become a mythical flower. But at a time when the cold months were harsh and difficult to bear in the countryside, this small slender flower capable of crossing the snowy ground was the first to give men hope for the return of spring. In Genesis, for example, it is said that Adam and Eve are desperate for the harshness of winter. In the middle of a frozen snowstorm, Eve starts to cry. An angel then appears, and to comfort her, transforms her tears into snowdrops and promises her the return of happier days. In the Christian tradition, the snowdrop is also celebrated on February 2, day of the Feast of the Purification of Mary. He has since been associated with candlestick, which earned him the nicknames "porillon de la Chandeleur" and Candlemas Bells in English.

Snowdrops grow easily in planters, especially do not deprive yourself!

The duel of the Spring fairy and the Winter Witch

In central European countries, the snowdrop is associated with the feast of Martisor, which is celebrated on March 1 in honor of spring. Winter by the fireside, it is said that the Winter Witch did not want to give up her place to the Spring Fairy. In a merciless struggle, the fairy cut herself off and a drop of blood fell in the snow. The blood instantly transformed into snowdrops, symbolizing the victory of the fairy ... In Martisor's many stories, the virgin whiteness of the flower is always associated with the blood red of passionate love. It is also common in the countries of the East that men offer their sweethearts snowdrops on March 1… Among the many stories of snowdrops, we also like the Romanian tale according to which God asked the snow to go and get a color from the flowers. The rose, the violet, the sunflower and the grass flatly refused, and only our valiant Galanthus agreed to offer her its immaculate whiteness. In thanks, the snow authorizes him each year to pierce it to flower before the others ...

Snowdrops love the cold, put them quickly on the windowsill but don't leave them inside!

How to grow snowdrops in the garden or on your balcony?

Easy to cultivate, the snowdrop needs a fresh and well-drained soil, rather acid, humiferous and siliceous. He likes the undergrowth, where he beautifully lights up the base of a large tree, and the shady rock gardens. For a truly spectacular effect in January-February, do not hesitate to plant around thirty bulbs on the lawn to create a cloud effect or to create a selvedge at the edge of the lawn. In all cases, planting is done in October, at a depth of about 10 cm, respecting a minimum spacing of 5 cm. After the flowering period, wait until the leaves have turned yellow before mowing, then leave the bulbs in place, taking care that they are not too hot during the summer. To do this, cover them with thick mulch and water the soil well in case of drought or heatwave. The bulbs will bloom again the following year, and you will only have to divide the tufts when they seem too dense. On the balcony or window sill, snowdrops are cultivated as easily as other spring bulbs and will make you happy in February. But beware, no snowdrops at home: not only would your snowdrops wither away in the heat, but in addition it would bring bad luck ... Another hit from the Witch Winter for sure!