Home' The Chronicle : Canberra Chronicle 24-03-2015 Contents 13 - Tuesday, March 24, 2015
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SNOWFLAKE, OR SNOWDROP?
Round here, snowflake is an easier bet
Leucojeum (snowflakes) will thrive in well-drained sandy soil.
In the garden
Of all the early spring flowering bulbs,
Leucojeum (commonly called the
snowflake) is one of the best for
naturalising in bold groups in the
southern hemisphere (pictured).
The bulbs continue to multiply in
well-drained sandy soil -- happily in
partial shade if need be -- and can be
readily transplanted in a clump (best
done just after flowering).
Among a dozen or so species.
Leucojeum vernum is the best known
and often confused with the true
snowdrop which is botanically
So what s the difference?
Leucojeum has six petals of the
same length, each with a green spot on
Snowdrops have three long outside
petals that hang down over three green
v-shape dotted shorter inner ones.
Leucojeum are generally taller, with
green foliage rather than the gray-
green of the snowdrop.
Snowdrops Galanthus nivalis are
natives of northern Europe where there
are long cold winters with following
cool and showery periods in spring.
Cool climate Australian gardeners --
those in the Southern Highlands have
hit the jackpot climate wise -- can
enjoy many of the common species
Legend says that when Adam and
Eve left the Garden of Eden, snow was
falling thickly. Eve became tired
falling to the ground. Suddenly an
angel appeared catching snowflakes
and turning them into snowdrops as
promise of the spring to come.
While not commonly seen in garden
centres you can source snowdrops
from specialist bulb growers via the
internet or advertisements in national
garden magazines. The Heritage
Nursery at Yarralumla recently had a
small number of a spectacular double
Author Anna Pavord, who knows all
about bulbs , suggests you dig up
one clump every year after flowering,
spreading bulbs under dogwoods,
hydrangeas and hedges.
Fortunately for gardeners in a
warmer climate, snowflakes
(Leucojeum vernum), an easier
proposition, are currently available
locally and from garden
Time now to buy from
baskets of bulbs at your local
nursery before all the best
varieties are gone. All of the
early spring flowering bulbs
can be planted now. Tulips and
Dutch hyacinths, however, are
best held over for setting into
the cooler soils of April -- even
early May if need be.
Early autumn is the last
chance to trim late winter or
early spring flowering or
coloured leaf hedges. Clear
out accumulated weed
growth, rubbish, and spent
leaves from the base; give the
root zone an autumn feed of
blood and bone -- water well.
Hill up the soil around
seedling leek and cabbage
stems as they grow. Firm the
ground with a spadeful of clay
soil around Brussels sprouts.
Fluffy ground = puffy sprouts:
firm ground = firm sprouts !
Cut back any tatty old
foliage on clumps of winter
flowering hellebores before
dressing with compost and
either pulverised manure or
some blood and bone.
up and running
The $6.5 million Gungahlin Valley
Ponds have been officially launched.
The ponds aim to improve the water
quality in the Ginninderra Catchment
and create a habitat for local urban
biodiversity, including fish and frogs.
The ponds will capture polluted
water draining from the Gungahlin
Town Centre and remove pollutants
before the water flows into Gungahlin
Pond and eventually into the
With the recent construction of the
Gungahlin Leisure Centre and sports
ground, the ponds provide a
environment in an urban environment
for use by the public.
Labor MLA for Molonglo Meegan
Fitzharris said the ACT government
had provided funds for a great facility
for the Gungahlin community.
I hope to see many families and
community members down here
enjoying the wonderful recreational
space it provides," she said.
The Gungahlin Valley Ponds are on
The Valley Avenue, Gungahlin For
more information visit
A profile of the Canberra Brewers on
page 13 of The Chronicle last week
stated that Richard Watkins was the
founder of the club.
Mr Watkins is a long standing
member of the club. The founders of
the club include Richard Pass, Mike
Day, John Nagle, Chris Elworthy and
a few others, according to current
president Joel Baines.
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