My Snowdrop Article in Fine Gardening

Fine Gardening cover Fine Gardening February 2016

You will all want to rush to your nearest purveyor of elegant magazines—Barnes and Noble in our area—and pick up the current issue (February 2016) of Fine Gardening.  I wrote the cover article, “Snowdrops: Start spring with these easy care varieties.”  It features a lot of useful information about snowdrops especially for gardeners wanting to expand beyond the common snowdrop.  Four of the photos are also mine, and there are two lovely shots of my hands :-).

Nursery News: 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 and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to  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 elwesiiMy photo of the giant snowdrop illustrates one of their greatest charms: their early bloom time. Shown here boring holes through the ice on Valentine’s Day 2011.


Galanthus 'Magnet'My photo of ‘Magnet’ illustrates how quickly the more vigorous varieties can multiply to form eye-catching masses in your garden.


My other photos are of ‘Lady Elphinstone’ and ‘Blewbury Tart’, but you will have to read the article to see those.  Please let me know what you think and ask me any questions that the article raises by typing a comment in the “Leave a Reply” box at the very end of this post.



Nursery Happenings: To access the 2016 Snowdrop Catalogue, click here.  You can sign up to receive catalogues and emails about nursery events by sending your full name and phone number to  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 6b/7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: 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.

35 Responses to “My Snowdrop Article in Fine Gardening”

  1. I so enjoyed this article -it has been passed around almost all of our local hosta and daffosil society – am still hoping you will someday speak to our group – you do not list “Wasp” in your catalog – do you have any for sale!

    • Len, It’s nice to know that local gardeners are reading my article. My stock of ‘Wasp’ was too low to offer any. I hope to have it again in future years. Some day I will put together a presentation for groups, but life is too complicated right now. Thanks for asking. Carolyn

  2. Well, congratulations. I know that it feels good to see your plant writing in print. I’ll have to go to Barnes and Noble.

  3. Says:

    Congrats Carolyn!!

    Sent from my iPhone

  4. Carolyn, I saw the copy, I think I got it at the Acme believe it or not! I went ahead and bought it, I remember thinking…I wonder if they mention Carolyn in the article? Ha ha, I got home, and you wrote it all! It’s really good, all your photos too. Congratulations. Also, I want that ‘Lady Elphinstone’. Anyway, very exiting, will be sure to hold on to this copy!

  5. Very cool and congrats on the article. I actually have a couple snowdrops up and blooming….so strange!

    • Thanks, Donna. Yes, it is a very strange season for snowdrops with main season snowdrops coming into bloom in December. There is warm weather in our forecast for the next two weeks so they will continue to open. I am just going to sit back and enjoy them. Merry Christmas, Carolyn

  6. Says:

    Carolyn, CONGRATULATIONS on this article.  I plan to purchase a copy.  If I send my copy to your with a return envelope with postage, would you sign for my Snowdrop collections?  Also, thank you for the holiday message.  Best to you and the family.  I look forward to visiting you when I return to Philly.  My snowdrops I purchased from you are doing great!  Bev Melenyzer

    • Bev, So nice to hear from you. Do I remember that you purchased quite a few snowdrops to grow at your home in the mountains? I am so glad that they are doing well. Of course I would sign your copy of Fine Gardening. I would be thrilled as I doubt I will get any other requests. Hope to see you when you are in town. Happy Holidays, Carolyn

  7. What a testimony to your expertise and talents! Congratulations!

    Has Nick heard from colleges yet? He asked me for a recommendation, and of course I wrote him a glowing one.

    Miss you guys. Happy Christmas! Lorrie

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Thanks, Lorrie. You are one of my first customers ever so it is so nice to have you share in my excitement. I will let Nick get back to you about the status of his college applications. We will also be in touch for a victory gift or could it be lunch? Merry Christmas, Carolyn

  8. I saw your article and loved it

  9. I’ve had 3 snowdrops in bloom in late October this year. I did not buy them as a special variety, just as G. elwesii. They were at least 6″ high, bigger flowers. Now, December 21, a whole bunch more ordinary ones are flowering here in Asheville, NC. Also Hellebores are either open or sitting near the surface ready to pop, cyclamen, Mahonia (with a swarm of bees the day before we went down to 26). The whole thing doesn’t feel right somehow but I do go and visit the snowdrops every day since there won’t be any now in January or February. I look forward to reading your article.

    • Sieglinde, I really appreciate your detailed comment. It is helpful to me and all my readers to know what is going on in your NC garden. G. elwesii produces a fair number of fall bloomers. They usually start here in early November so October would seem right for you. Main season snowdrops are coming into bloom here too, although not that many have actually opened their buds. Hellebores are also opening, and mahonia buds are showing yellow. Winter jasmine is in full bloom. I agree, it doesn’t seem right, but I am going to enjoy it anyway. Happy Holidays, Carolyn

  10. cherylNjohn Says:

    Hi Carolyn, Just got back from the library where I went specifically to read your article and the last two “Fine Gardening” magazines. Congratulations. What an interesting and inspirational article. I only have a few common snowdrops mixed among my hellebores. It’s time to add a couple more unusual ones. Years ago, when I subscribed to FG, I sent in a tip about the stakes for dahlias. John cut 6 inch wooden “placeholders”. And then I didn’t have to look at the stakes until the dahlia needed it. It was the tip of the month. That was my claim to fame!

    We wish you and the family a joyous and relaxing Christmas and a healthy new year.


    Sent from my iPad


  11. Congratulations, Carolyn!

  12. Congratulations and Happy Holidays!!!

  13. This is exciting. Congratulations…I will definitely get the magazine. (I hope it mentions how to keep snowdrop bulbs from being eaten!)

  14. Klaus Kirschbaum Says:

    Congratulations on the article and that it made top billing on their cover. I haven’t read it yet – am a subscriber and am awaiting my copy in the post – but I sense that snowdrops are bit by bit gaining ground among American gardeners. At least in the northeast. Like hellebores, they can be pricey, but their cultivation needs are so relatively straight forward that almost all of them regardless of cost are rewarding – it’s nice to spend money on something that doesn’t disappear after a season or two. In lower Westchester NY I have a number of snowdrops blooming, but mainly ones I bought as early blooming types. I do have some S. Arnott looking like they’ll pop any day now – I can see the white already – but strangely the reginae-olgae are not yet blooming. I’m a little concerned that all these plants – as well as helleborus Niger that are in full bloom already and corylopsis that look like they want to burst into bloom – will suffer if “real” winter makes an appearance next month. –Klaus

    • Thank you, Klaus, your words mean a lot coming from a longtime snowdrop customer. My snowdrops are all coming into bloom several weeks to a month early. Other plants are blooming out of season too. I have decided to enjoy and not worry as I can’t do anything about it. You may get the anowdrops you ordered earlier this year if we have no winter, we will see. I find snowdrops very rewarding for the reasons you mention. The only one that has ever died is ‘Comet’, and I have tried it twice. Have a wonderful holiday, Carolyn

  15. Wonderful Carolyn. I did know of your fortune. I wish you and your family the best the season has to offer. Merry Christmas and a joyous New Year.

  16. Merry Christmas Carolyn, I read the article and knew it was you ! Very well done – it even has me thinking about possibly adding a few new snowdrops, something I would not have before considered. All the best to you and a Happy and Wonderful New Year.

  17. Santa Claus gave me that Fine Gardening magazine in my stocking this year, and when I read that article I knew it was from you! Great article – it made me want to find and plant some of those snowdrops! How exciting! Congratulations, and Happy New Year!

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