New Feature Article on Snowdrops

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops.  For catalogues and announcements of local events, please send your full name, mailing address, and cell number to and indicate whether you are mail order only.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

Galanthus elwesiiEvery photo in this collage is of a giant snowdrop, Galanthus elwesii, in my garden.  The differences in the markings are caused by the natural variation in the species.  None of them have been selected and given a cultivar name, although many plants like them have been named, probably too many.  Yet I find this variation fascinating.

Our current snowdrop catalogue is on line here.

To be put on the special snowdrop email list, please send your full name, cell number, and mailing address and indicate you are interested in snowdrops.

In this post you will find links and descriptions of every post I have written on snowdrops.  The original purpose of this post was to let readers know that The Hardy Plant Society Mid-Atlantic Group honored me by asking me to write an article on snowdrops for their newsletter. It is called “Confessions of a Galanthophile” and is the Feature Article for the January 2013 Newsletter.  You can access the on line version by clicking here.

Galanthus gracilisGalanthus gracilis

While letting you know about the Hardy Plant Society article, which makes use of parts of some of my previous blog posts, I thought this post would be a good place to list all the articles that I have written on snowdrops for easy reference.  I have interspersed the article names and links with photos of some of my favorite snowdrops.

A very unusual and pricey newer snowdrop with squared off outer segments, ‘Diggory’.

November 22, 2010

“Snowdrops or the Confessions of a Galanthophile”

origins of galanthomania, fall-blooming snowdrops

profiles G. reginae-olgae and ‘Potter’s Prelude’

click here to read

Galanthus reginae-olgae, Lamium 'Shell Pink'G. reginae-olgae blooms in the fall with ‘Shell Pink’ lamium.

January 22, 2011

“Snowdrops: Further Confessions of a Galanthophile”

fascinating history of snowdrop cultivars

short profiles of 16 snowdrop cultivars

click here to read

Galanthus rizehensisGalanthus rizehensis

February 9, 2011

“Are Snowdrops Thermogenic?”

discusses plants that produce their own heat

click here to read

Galanthus woronowii Cresson Garden The shiny bright green leaves of the species snowdrop G. woronowii.

January 19, 2012

“New Snowdrops for 2012”

importance of provenance in snowdrop collecting

profiles ‘Brenda Troyle’, ‘Tiny’, ‘Hippolyta’, ‘Dionysus’, and G. plicatus subsp. byzantinus

click here to read

Galanthus 'Potter's Prelude'The lovely American, fall-blooming snowdrop ‘Potter’s Prelude’.

January 7, 2013

‘New Snowdrops for 2013″

where to find information on snowdrops

profiles ‘Wendy’s Gold’, ‘Standing Tall’, ‘Mighty Atom’, and ‘Scharlockii’

click here to read

A new American snowdrop introduced by Carolyn’s Shade Gardens, Galanthus elwesii ‘Xmas’

The Hardy Plant Society Mid-Atlantic Group

January 2013 Newsletter

“Confessions of a Galanthophile”

why gardeners collect snowdrops

click here to read

'Straffan' by Jonathan Shaw‘Straffan’, photo by Jonathan Shaw

January 5, 2014

“The Un-Common Snowdrop”

the common snowdrop and its cultivars

profiles G. nivalis, ‘Flore Pleno’, ‘Viridapice’, and ‘Blewbury Tart’

click here to read

My favorite single classic snowdrop, ‘Magnet’.

January 16, 2014

“The Sochi Snowdrop”

G. woronowii and its cultivars

profiles G. woronowii and ‘Elizabeth Harrison’

click here to read

‘Kite’, very early-blooming with extremely long outer segments.


Galanthus elwesii 'Kite' twp scapes‘Kite’ can have twin flowers on one flower stalk.

January 27, 2014

“Top 25 Snowdrop Plants Part One”

UK ranking of top 25 all-time favorite snowdrops

profiles and photos of snowdrops ranked 13 to 25

click here to read

‘Godfrey Owen’ has six outer segments.

 February 4, 2014

“Top 25 Snowdrop Plants Part Two”

UK ranking of top 25 all-time favorite snowdrops

profiles and photos of snowdrops ranked 1 to 12

click here to read

Galanthus nivalis 'Lady Elphinstone' CadwaladerThe gorgeous double yellow snowdrop ‘Lady Elphinstone’

December 2, 2014

“Do All Snowdrops Look Alike?”

shows the many very different types of snowdrops available

  photos of 14 strikingly different cultivars

click here to read

Galanthus 'Viridapice'Although considered ordinary by some, ‘Viridapice’ remains one of my favorite snowdrops.

December 9, 2014

“New Snowdrops for 2015”

  profiles ‘Blonde Inge’, ‘Diggory’, ‘Walrus’, and ‘Wasp’

click here to read

‘Cowhouse Green’ is a lovely part virescent snowdrop.

January 5, 2015

“Companion Plants for Snowdrops”

snowdrops are great alone but look even better with other winter interest plants

  profiles 10 winter-blooming plants to pair with snowdrops

click here to read

‘Walrus’ is ranked number 12 in all-time favorite snowdrops.

January 14, 2015

“New Snowdrop Book”

Kew Gardens A Plant Lover’s Guide to Snowdrops

review with images from the book

click here to read

Leucojum vernum var. carpathicumAn unusual form of spring snowflake with yellow markings, Leucojum vernum var. carpathicum.

March 17, 2016

“Snowflakes (Leucojum) Continue the Snowdrop Season”

profiles many unusual forms of snowflakes, a close relative of snowdrops

click here to read

2017-catalogue-collage-11-26-2016-12-14-18-pm-11-26-2016-12-14-18-pmSome of my special snowdrops that I want to keep well marked.

December 6, 2016

“Curating a Plant Collection: Snowdrops or Otherwise”

how to keep track of your growing snowdrop collection

click here to read

The naturally blue lake at Colesborne Park below a hillside of snowdrops.

March 3, 2017

“Drifts of Snowdrops at Colesbourne Park”

photos and descriptions of our February 2017 trip to the famous English snowdrop venues

click here to read

March 15, 2017

“Snowdrops at the Royal Horticultural Society Spring Show”

setting up the Avon Bulbs snowdrop exhibit at the February 2017 show in London

click here to read

‘Fly Fishing’

November 18, 2017

“New Snowdrops for 2018”

profiles of ‘Ailwyn’, ‘Angelique’, ‘Bertram Anderson’, ‘Greenish’, ‘Fly Fishing’, and ‘Colossus’

click here to read

‘South Hayes’

November 28, 2017

“New Snowdrops for 2018 Part Two”

profiles of ‘Jonathan’, ‘Madelaine’, ‘Mrs. Macnamara’, ‘Welshway’, ‘South Hayes’, and ‘Titania’

click here to read

Galanthus 'Lapwing'‘Lapwing’ has a great mark and is a vigorous multiplier.

December 5, 2017

“Fine Gardening Feature Article on Snowdrops”

reprint of my cover article for the February 2016 issue of Fine Gardening

click here to read

Snowdrops and hellebores along the path to a folly at Painswick.

December 29, 2017

“Painswick Rococo Garden”

tour of winter garden and snowdrops at Painswick Rococo Gardens

click here to read

John Morley welcomes us to the gardens at North Green Snowdrops.

January 15, 2018

“North Green Snowdrops”

tour of the snowdrop garden at North Green Snowdrops

click here to read

 The best place to see snowdrops in England is Colesbourne Park in the Cotswolds.

March 7, 2018

“Exceptional Snowdrops and Gardens, England February 2018”

highlights of winter gardens and snowdrops in England

click here to read

Rodmarton Manor has an extensive snowdrop collection in its Arts and Crafts garden.

March 20, 2018

“Rodmarton Manor Garden”

tour of Rodmarton Manor’s winter garden and snowdrop collection

click here to read

‘Sprite’ is a beautiful and distinct snowdrop selected at Avon Bulbs.

March 25, 2018

“A Day in the Life of an Avon Bulbs Snowdrop”

introduction of new snowdrops at Avon Bulbs in England

click here to read

‘Art Nouveau’ has a unique and elegant look.

November 13, 2018

“New Snowdrops for 2019: Part One”

profiles of ‘Godfrey Owen’, ‘Barnes’, ‘Art Nouveau’, ‘Armine’, ‘Puck’, and ‘Sprite’

click here to read

‘Richard Ayres’ is a large and vigorous double.

November 27, 2018

“New Snowdrops for 2019: Part Two”

profiles of ‘Richard Ayres’, ‘Green Brush’, ‘Faringdon Double’, ‘Merlin’, ‘Trym’, and ‘Starling’

click here to read

‘Three Ships’ is a gorgeous G. plicatus that blooms around Christmas.

December 11, 2018

“Your February 2019 Snowdrop Trip to England”

planning a trip to England during snowdrop season

click here to read

‘Xmas’ was selected and introduced by Carolyn’s Shade Gardens.

October 23, 2019

“Early-Blooming Snowdrops”

profiles G. reginae olgae, ‘Potter’s Prelude’, ‘Barnes’, ‘Standing Tall’, and ‘Xmas’

click here to read

‘S. Arnott’ is the favorite snowdrop of galanthophiles everywhere.

November 2, 2020

“Classic Snowdrops”

profiles ‘Atkinsii’, ‘S. Arnott’, ‘Merlin’, ‘Hill Poe’, and ‘Scharlockii’

click here to read

‘One Drop or Two?’ is a rare twin-flowered snowdrop.

November 14, 2020

“New Snowdrops for 2021”

profiles ‘Beth Chatto’, ‘Bill Clark’, ‘Bagpuize Virginia’, ‘Fieldgate Prelude’, ‘Natalie Garton’, ‘Pom Pom’, and ‘One Drop or Two?’

click here to read

“Sarah Dumont’ has gorgeous yellow markings.

November 21, 2020

“New Snowdrops for 2021: Part 2”

profiles ‘Sarah Dumont’, G. nivalis subsp. poculiformis, ‘Green Arrow’, ‘Moortown Mighty’, ‘Wonston Double’, and ‘Trympostor’

click here to read

Galanthus EA Bowles‘E.A. Bowles’ is currently my favorite snowdrop

November 13, 2021

“New Snowdrops for 2022: Part 1”

profiles ‘E.A. Bowles’, ‘The Wizard’, ‘Mrs. Thompson’, ‘Cordelia’, and ‘Phantom’

click here to read

img032New snowdrop reference book

November 17, 2022

“Some Snowdrops by Anne Repnow”

profiles ‘Three Ships’, ‘Standing Tall’, ‘Wasp’, and ‘Godfrey Owen’ and reviews a wonderful new snowdrop book

click here to read

Galanthus Midas‘Midas’ is a color breakthrough for snowdrops.

November 20, 2021

“New Snowdrops for 2022: Part 2”

profiles ‘Midas’, ‘Augustus’, ‘Cowhouse Green’, ‘Desdemona’, ‘Moses Basket’, and ‘Rodmarton Arcturus’

click here to read

Galanthus Mrs. Thompson‘Mrs. Thompson’s’ erratic flowers are a plus.

2022 Snowdrop Catalogue

40 varieties of snowdrops and snowflakes for sale mail order

click here to access

Galanthus nivalis 'Blonde Inge'‘Blonde Inge’ is lovely in a mass and bulks up quickly.

* * * * *

All the posts as well as the catalogue itself, provide interesting and informative reading on subjects ranging from the origins of galanthomania, the fascinating history of snowdrops, their provenance, how to research them, and even whether they produce their own heat.  I intend to add titles and links through the years as I write more about one of my favorite topics.

Enjoy, Carolyn


Note: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information.  If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

42 Responses to “New Feature Article on Snowdrops”

  1. Starr Foster Says:

    Beautiful and impressive article! Your photos are perfect. You must have been lying on your stomach to take them!! Snowdrops have always been a joy to see each spring after a long cold Michigan winter, and now I find I can try to grow them from fall to spring, thanks to all your writings.

    • Starr, Not sure I have ever gone flat on the ground. A good crouch usually does the trick. I was so happy to have an opportunity to use some photos I really liked but didn’t have a place for. You will have some new snowdrops to admire when your order comes. Carolyn

  2. I admire your passion for snowdrops! Your garden must be wonderful, carpeted with these drifts of white. I think I like the fat Augustus!

  3. Simply Beautiful! The little variations are interesting. After learning about where snowdrops grow best, I’m actually entertaining ideas of moving to a climate that is more suitable for snowdrops so I can try all the different varieties. I’ve fallen gravely ill with “Galanthophilia”. Thanks for sharing so many wonderful pictures.

  4. I do love snowdrops but I have to admit to not understanding the obsession that many have for them. I love seeing drifts of hundreds or better thousands of the simple flowered form under trees, in grass or under-planting winter interest shrubs like Cornus. Thanks for sharing your passion for them. Christina

  5. Howard Drury Says:

    Brilliant – Howard (Ashwood Nurseries)

  6. paulinemulligan Says:

    I have just spent a very happy half hour re-reading your snowdrop posts and the link to John Grimshaw, thank you! Will certainly wait for the second edition of the snowdrop “bible” to be produced although it sounds as if it could be some time yet !

    • Pauline, I keep getting mixed reports. Commenters on the snowdrop forum seem to think the publication of Snowdrops 2 is imminent. I would think if it was going to come out this year, it would be here because the snowdrop season has started. I do know that it will not contain the material in the old book, but will be a supplement with a combined index for both books. Carolyn

  7. Béatrice Says:

    Thank you for those marvellous articles on snowdrops. I am a little addicted to snowdrops and I love to read about them. Like you I also have interest in the history of plants and I do research on the persons behind them, but even on the internet it seems hard to go back in time and to find information or pictures. I think we too will have to wait for the second edition of “Snowdrops” by Matt Bishop.
    Meanwhile I enjoy these little flowers in my garden although they are covered by a thick layer of snow right now.
    From Belgium (Antwerp), snowdrop greetings,

    • Beatrice, We have have had nothing but days and days of rain and drizzle and fog and gray—some Belgian snow would be a nice break—I feel like I live in England. Yes, we are very lucky that Matt Bishop and friends have done the research for us and captured it in a book. Even if you find interesting information on the internet, it often disappears when you try to locate it again. That happened with my research on Heyrick Greatorex but luckily I had notes. Carolyn

  8. Congrats Carolyn for being asked to write an article for The Hardy Plant Society. I will be looking tomorrow too. I stopped at Diggory. It is unusual and caught my eye because of that. Augustus is different too, making it a garden standout. There is so much variation in this plant which you only see by looking close.

    • Donna, It would be nice if galanthophiles would name only the very unique varieties and not every slightly different snowdrop that appears in the garden. Then we would have just unique plants like ‘Diggory’, and I would have a lot less difficult time explaining what’s to like about them. Carolyn

  9. Judy Stogniew Says:

    What do you think of the new ‘Snowdrops’ book by Gunter Waldorf?

    • Judy, I really like the new book and it is a steal from Amazon at $16.00. The first part is no nonsense approach to buying, growing, propagating, etc. The following three hundred photographs of the more popular and or desirable varieties are worth their weight in gold. Each has a short description that tells you why you would want that plant. Carolyn

  10. I love them all! Beautiful photos.
    I wonder if ‘Galanthophilia’ is more prevalent around the rest of the world than here in England, where snowdrops are readily available and most are just as cheap as tulips and crocuses? OK, so there are some that would cost you an arm and a leg for just 5, but they are very rare, most are not expensive as such and easy to get hold of here, but I haven’t really heard of people going mad for them here in England, only from people abroad.

    It’s like with us and orchids, in the tropics they grow them everywhere, nothing special, but here they are highly priced plants that needs special this and special that, even special pots.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing all those posts, I thoroughly enjoyed it even if I am not completely mad about snowdrops, I just like them 🙂

    • Helene, I have to respectfully disagree with you. England is the center of galanthophilia where gardeners obsess more than any other place in the world. Great snowdrop estates (like Colesbourne), snowdrop teas, snowdrop weekends, snowdrop study days, snowdrop clothing and jewelry, etc., abound. Getting tickets to the annual Galanthus Gala is like winning the lottery. And you better get out of the way when the sales doors open if you don’t want to be trampled (I have heard it helps to have long arms and carry a large and sturdy basket to knock people out of the way). There is a whole RHS show in London in February that focuses heavily on snowdrops. Yes, the more readily available snowdrops are less expensive in the UK, but that’s because CITES, the endangered species convention, prevents snowdrops from being shipped internationally, and most snowdrops are bred, discovered, and or selected in England. However, the rarer cultivars are very pricey in the UK. 760 pounds was just paid on eBay for a rare yellow to use for production with an eye to the UK market. If you want to get a real feel for the obsession, read the galanthus thread on the Scottish Rock Garden Club forum. I would say that most American gardeners have heard of snowdrops, but very few would qualify as galanthophiles. Carolyn

      • OK, I believe you 🙂
        I guess I might have missed the extent of the obsession because I get all my gardening info from watching TV and reading plant magazines and catalogues etc. and from the Internet of course. I am housebound and don’t meet other gardeners and never go to open gardens, shows, exhibitions etc anymore.
        I have been to RHS shows in the past, many years ago, I remember being to one solely dedicated to camellias, that was wonderful, came home with lots of photos on my camera, and also another one about orchids.
        By the way, my first snowdrop opened yesterday, despite the seriously cold weather we have right now!
        Take care, Helene.

      • Helene, I might have gotten a little carried away with my enthusiasm for English galanthophiles :-). There was a discussion on the forum recently about battle tactics for snowdrops sales though. Carolyn

  11. Great article, Carolyn.

  12. I adore them and could become quite obsessed were it not for my husband and his reminding me of our budget as I retire…so for now I will live vicariously through you and your beautiful snowdrops.

  13. Great article! It is always intriguing what we gardeners become obsessed with – and how long it takes us to do so. It seems we all have one obsession, and after reading your article, I can understand your snowdrop obsession. I am especially impressed that they can give such a long bloom time, and of course, anything that blooms when everything else is dormant is most welcome.

    • Holley, I am glad that the article worked. I really don’t expect many people to become obsessed with snowdrops (and I certainly have other plant obsessions like hellebores, miniature hostas, and native plants) but I want gardeners to understand what there is to like about them. Carolyn

  14. You are certainly a fan of Snowdrops! I enjoyed reading about thermogenic plants, fascinating. I will have to figure out a spot for some Snowdrops in my garden.

  15. Some seriously bewitching images…..I am almost converted to galantophilia

    • Catherine, Your comment came through. It is annoying when you don’t get a message that it’s awaiting moderation and the comment vanishes into thin air. Not sure why that happens.

      It is interesting that when it came to me picking some of my favorite images, every photo is of a single green-marked snowdrop, the exact cultivars that non-galanthophiles say all look alike. To me there is something pristine and elegant in them unmatched in any other flower.


  16. I’ve enjoyed your snowdrop images before but this is the first time I saw them as little paratroopers under their canopies! Good job with the fabulously detailed pictures with those porcelain-like white petals captured so well. And congrats on the article–you are the snowdrop goddess! I do think “galanthophile” sounds just a little bit like someone who is into having a guy open the car door for them. How about snowdropper or maybe snowdropist? Snowdropista? Ok I’ll stop…

  17. Hi Carolyn, the Snowdrops which you show us are indeed charming. Can you believe the ones in our garden as yet are not even peeking through the soil, yet some of the Daffs are.

  18. […] New Feature Article on Snowdrops ( […]

  19. Carolyn, I can’t wait to greet the snowdrops from your garden when spring finally arrives! Have a wonderful time in St. Lucia! P. x

  20. Congratulations! Great article, I will miss this year the snowdrops.

  21. […] time lurking on the Galanthus site of the SRGC, and drooling over snowdrops on Pauline’s, Carolyn’s and Anna’s […]

  22. Snow drops, They have always been my hope that “Yes” spring will come.

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