Thankfully, there’s a snowy landscape at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens today.
Before I get to current events at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens, I want to encourage you to come to this year’s Bank to Bend lecture at Winterthur on Saturday, March 7. The featured speaker is Andrew Turvey, Head Gardener at Myddelton House Gardens in the U.K.
Myddelton is the former home and garden of the very famous English plantsman E.A. Bowles whose plant expertise was wide ranging but included a particular focus on snowdrops. He is said to have originated the term galanthophile to describe snowdrop enthusiasts. Turvey worked previously at the Royal Horticultural Society’s garden at Wisley and is frequently a featured speaker in England. The official details are below.
Nursery News: The 2015 Snowdrop Catalogue, featuring snowdrops and other winter interest plants like cyclamen and hellebores, is on the sidebar, and we are taking orders. To access the catalogue, please click here. Charles Cresson’s The Winter Garden in Bloom seminars are sold out. If you would like to receive emails notifying you of catalogues, events, and sales, please sign up for our customer email list by sending your full name and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in snowdrops, please let us know and we will put you on the snowdrop list.
Celebrate Spring at Winterthur!
Bank to Bend Garden Lecture, Plant Sale, Tour and Snowdrop Event
A lecture by Andrew Turvey of Myddelton House Gardens, 11:00 am – noon, Copeland Lecture Hall
Andrew Turvey, head gardener at Myddelton House Gardens, is the caretaker of the garden of EA Bowles. A famous plantsman, Bowles had a keen interest in bulbs, is credited with coining the term ‘galanthophile’ for passionate snowdrop collectors, and introduced hundreds of plants to cultivation.
$10 members, $20 non-members, all other garden activities included with admission.
• An Introduction to Snowdrops Workshop, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm, Brown Center, no registration required
• Sale of Rare and Unusual Plants by Carolyn’s Shade Garden, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm, Visitor Center
• Guided Tours of the March Bank, Starting at the Visitor Center at 1:00 pm & 3:00 pm
• Self-guided ‘White Arrow’ Tour through the March Bank, Starting at the Visitor Center, All Day
• Special Spring Tour Experience through the House and Conservatory, Museum, All Day
For more information and to register, visit www.winterthur.org or call 800.448.3883.
WINTERTHUR MUSEUM, GARDEN & LIBRARY
WINTERTHUR, DE 19735
.Snow crocus at Winterthur
As noted, Carolyn’s Shade Gardens intends to sell a nice selection of snowdrops, cyclamen, hellebores, and other spring flowers, although what we actually bring is weather dependent at this point. Flowering hardy cyclamen and a wide-ranging and beautiful selection of mature, blooming hellebores are a definite though. I am very excited that Winterthur has added an “Introduction to Snowdrops” workshop taught by Linda Eirhart, their very knowledgeable Curator of Plants. This is an opportunity not to be missed by anyone wanting to increase their understanding of this wonderful genus.
Common snowdrops and winter aconite at Winterthur
You may be wondering what is going on at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens especially if you ordered snowdrops. Usually at this time, snowdrops, cyclamen, hellebores, and lots of other plants are up and thinking of blooming in my garden. Last year, which I thought was an aberration and best forgotten about, we had freezing weather and snow into March. I didn’t think it could get any worse, but this year we have had subzero lows with no snow to protect the plants—even worse than 2013-2014. Fortunately last night we finally had a significant snowfall.
My snowdrop propagation beds look like ancient burial mounds. For extra protection during the subzero, snowless period, we covered them with an insulated tarp.
Today, after it finally snowed, we removed the tarp and left the snow behind for insulation. We couldn’t have done this in a “normal” year when the snowdrops were up, but nothing was going on due to the extended cold weather.
My snowdrop from the U.S. Botanic Garden, which I have now named ‘Xmas’ to reflect its distinct X mark and bloom time at Christmas, glows in its plastic box before the snow. It is perfectly hardy and does not need to be covered, but I am trying to preserve the blooms for the customers who have purchased it.
That is about all that is going on at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens right now. If you have ordered snowdrops, I am hoping to start shipping in about two weeks. However, last year we started March 17 to the Pacific North West and the South and finished April 2 to the coldest parts of New England and the Midwest. Eventually, the snow will melt, the ground will unfreeze, and the plants will “catch up”. Meanwhile, the long range forecast is for continued cold through next week and then a jump to the high 50s on February 28. I hope this is not the new “normal”.
Nursery Happenings: We will be selling snowdrops and hellebores at Winterthur on March 8, details above. We are now taking orders, for mail order or pick up in March, from the 2015 Snowdrop Catalogue, featuring snowdrops and other winter interest plants like cyclamen and hellebores. To access the catalogue, please click here.
Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.
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