While I was returning, I heard reports that West Texas was getting record amounts of snow. Too much snow. They were unprepared, and even major interstate freeways were closed. Here in East Texas, we got the wind, but no moisture.
As I drove home, I wondered what changes I would find in my garden. Sure enough, there were a few more blooms greeting me upon my return. But, the loveliest blooms were coming from the snowflakes (leucojum). They have never disappointed me. But snowflakes are just one type of blooming "snow" for the garden.
Snowdrops (galanthus) are the most popular early spring blooming bulb. These little bulbs are so popular, there is even a name for collectors: galanthophile. Snowdrops can be grown in zones 2 through 9, but do best in zones 4 through 7. I have ordered some (arriving soon!) to try out in my garden. I am hoping that they will be happy here. Snowdrops generally have longer petals on the outside, and shorter petals on the inside.
Then, there are snowflakes (leucojum). Their petals are generally even all the way around the bloom. I have had snowflakes in my garden for several years, and they are dependable, beautiful, and easy to grow. They can be grown in zones 4 through 9. There are two common types of snowflakes: spring snowflake, leucojum vernum, and summer snowflake, leucojum aestivum. Snowflakes seem to be overlooked by collectors, but I'm not sure why. Perhaps in the future there will be leucojumphiles.
Since my snowflakes bloom in February, I had always assumed mine were leucojum vernum, or spring snowflake. But, now I think they are leucojum aestivum, or summer snowflakes, because even though they are blooming in February, I've read that spring snowflakes (leucojum vernum) usually bloom with one or two flowers per stem, while summer snowflakes (leucojum aestivum) have two to seven blooms per stem. You can correct me if I'm wrong.
Either way, now that I'm adding snowdrops to my garden, I definitely need both spring and summer snowflakes in my garden, too. After all, one can never have too much snow - if it's the blooming kind!