Snowflakes in April

One of the special plants that began blooming in my garden in early April was the Spring (some say Summer) Snowflake (Leucojum aestivum). I say it is special because it is without question a true family heirloom. My Aunt Martha gave me these bulbs which she had obtained as offsets from bulbs in my grandmother’s garden. As I related about them in Guess What’s in My Garden!, they were given to my grandmother by her grandmother, so Snowflakes have been in my family for at least a century or more. I brought them along when we moved from Chapel Hill to Charlotte. I feel a real obligation to keep them going, and I intend to share them with the next generations. There are still a few blossoms left that have not gone to seed.

Snowflake (Leucojum aestivum) blossoms

Snowflake (Leucojum aestivum) blossoms

Now as we approach the end of April, another snowflake is making itself known in a different corner of my garden. Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum (‘Summer Snowflake’ ) is blooming its white head off. This viburnum snowflake has the wonderful habit of continuing to put out new growth…and therefore new blossoms…all summer up until frost. It won’t be as full as in this picture, but it will be colorful for the rest of the season. I am indebted to my friend and garden designer Suzanne Edney for introducing me to this plant.

Summer Snowflake viburnum (Viburnum plicatum var. 'Summer Snowflake') takes center stage in my spring border

Summer Snowflake viburnum (Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum ‘Summer Snowflake’) takes center stage in this corner of my spring borders


About johnvic8

John Viccellio retired after 24 years in the U. S. Navy and began to dig into gardening when he could finally land in one place. He completed the Master Gardener course in 1992 and has since designed and constructed two of his own gardens. He wrote a monthly garden column for ten years and was a regular contributor to Carolina Gardener magazine. John published his first book, Guess What's in My Garden!, in 2014. He lives in Stallings, NC with his wife, in close proximity to six of his eight grandchildren.
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3 Responses to Snowflakes in April

  1. Your spring garden looks beautiful! Love this post.


  2. pbmgarden says:

    Wonderful that your Leucojum aestivum can be traced back through generations. My sisters just gave me some Leucojum aestivum–nice to think of passing it along.


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