The January thaw can bring surprises, like these snowdrops planted close to the house. The white buds will unfold into a tiny bell like flowers with a green throat. They emerged so quick, the soil from the garden still clings to the foliage and buds.
This particular set of bulbs were a gift from a reader. She sent me a little cardboard box with a note to enjoy the blooms in late winter. It's hard to tell when they will flower. I've never seen them emerge so soon in the season; last year I had some bloom on February 15th and I thought that was early.
They are one of the only bulbs that enjoy being divided in the green. That means right after they are done blooming. When they finish flowering, just dig up a clump, gently separate them and replant immediately. Even without that treatment, the bulbs will form a small colony after a few years. With temperatures dropping over the next couple days, the snowdrops will probably just stay like this until a few days of 40 and 50 degree temperatures. But one more day of warm weather might get them to bloom.
When planting bulbs like tulips and daffodils this fall, consider adding snowdrops. Even though there's plenty of winter left, they are a hopeful sign that spring is around the corner.