Snowdrops in Snow Caves

Galanthus 'Spindlestone Surprise'

‘Spindlestone Surprise’, a rare yellow snowdrop peaks out from its cave.

In my last post, I talked about our unseasonably warm weather, and we are back to that today.  But in between we had the blizzard of 2016, which dumped 30″ (76.2 cm) of snow on Carolyn’s Shade Gardens accompanied by high winds.  Even with several days of 50 degree F (10 C) weather, the ground is covered and piles of drifted snow are everywhere not to mention the sticks and debris.

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 'Godfrey Owen' elwesii

‘Godfrey Owen’ looks gorgeous in the snow.


Luckily, I covered many of my blooming clumps with plastic boxes before the snow began.  The uncovered flowering plants were damaged by the snow, but the covered groups look pristine.    When I pulled off the boxes, the snowdrops underneath were left in a roofless snow cave.  They looked so beautiful, I wanted to share them with you.


Galanthus 'Godfrey Owen' elwesii

I can’t get enough of ‘Godfrey Owen’.


Galanthus 'Daphne's Scissors' elwesii

‘Daphne’s Scissors’ with uncharacteristic green tips this year.


Galanthus 'Wendy's Gold' plicatus

Another beautiful yellow, ‘Wendy’s Gold’.


Gaalnthus 'Magnet'

‘Magnet’ has been blooming for so long it is starting to go by.


Galanthus 'Richard Ayres'

A vigorous double, ‘Richard Ayres’ .


Galanthus 'Kite' elwesii

‘Kite’ today, eleven days after the storm, with the snow melted down quite a bit.


Galanthus 'Kite' elwesii

‘Kite’ with very long outer segments and an X-shaped inner mark.


Galanthus 'Trumps'

‘Trumps’, one of the most sought after snowdrops.


Galanthus 'Spindlestone Surprise'

I couldn’t resist another shot of ‘Spindlestone Surprise’.


It seems fitting that the beauty of snowdrops is increased by snow.



Nursery Happenings: 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.

30 Responses to “Snowdrops in Snow Caves”

  1. Annetta H. Kushner Says:

    Glad to hear your garden survived the deep snows. Mine did, too, at least that part that has emerged from the mountain of snow with the slow melt. We had over 27″.

    I did what you did and covered some of my treasures. I was determined to have a healthy stand of euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ that suffered over the past two winters. So…put iron stands around the plants, wrapped the stands in burlap and them covered the burlap with contractor bags. Had tried to use large nursery pots but the euphorbias were too tall. My efforts paid off. What we gardeners do.

    Some galanthuses are blooming now along with hellebores, eranthis and some tommies. Am waiting to see what happened to the hamamelises, some of which had begun to bloom before the snow. Still too deep to go plunging into certain beds.

    You must be exceedingly pleased at having sold out so early. Thank you for sending on the lovely photos. Annetta Sent from my iPad


    • Annetta, Maryland got as much snow as we did so it was a good idea you took precautions. The blooming snowdrops that I did not cover look pretty bedraggled with bent flower stems. I am very pleased to have sold out so early, but I am also sorry that so many of my dedicated customers were disappointed. Carolyn

  2. Your photos are absolutely stunning, snowdrops are one of my personal favorites.

  3. dceddowning Says:

    Do you expect to sell Penny’s Pink in your hellebore sale this spring? And do you have a date yet for the sale? 

    Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S® 6, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

  4. I love these photos. Such images of resilience.

  5. Says:

    Once again, your emails represent sheer happiness to me! Thank you so much for sending them out. It’s like getting a box of chocolates in the mail. Susan Jennifer Johnson

  6. Oh yes, they are, indeed, stunningly beautiful. No snowdrops here, yet. But foliage from many spring-flowering plants is now poking through the snow. Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos!

  7. Hello Carolyn,
    Great to see that you and your snowdrops survived the storm so successfully and the sun is shining again. Lovely photos, and I wondered after hearing Naomi Slade talk last weekend on garden designing with snowdrops, whether you’ve used her tip of mirrors for any of your from beneath the flower images…or just got chilly hands, holding the camera?
    Bought her book, BTW, which is great …and I see you have a page in it…well done!

    • Julian, What is Naomi Slade’s tip for using mirrors? I was lying facedown on the snow with the camera shoved into the “cave” and tilted at an angle where I couldn’t really see what I was doing. Not ideal. Glad you liked Naomi Slade’s book (The Plant Lover’s Guide to Snowdrops). I think it is quite good but then it mentions me and Carolyn’s Shade Gardens in four different places so I am prejudiced. Carolyn

      • Thanks Carolyn, I did a quick flick thro’ of the book at the lecture and it fell open with a page with an interview with one CW… so I thought, I’ve got to buy this! I haven’t had a chance to read most of it yet, but for reasons that will become clear later, I wanted to get a post up pretty quickly about my Historic Welsh Snowdrop Hunt. She didn’t have a tip for using the mirrors for photography – she just mentioned galanthophiles use them to save bending down all the time. I thought I could adapt it in the way shown for taking some pics. With practice and a bigger mirror, I think it might save some of the contortions otherwise necessary to get nice pics inside the flowers, without my grubby fingers showing …or as you say, pot luck…
        Best wishes

      • You are so nice. If you run into Naomi again, please give her my best. We spent a lot of time on the phone and communicating by email.

  8. What joyful images! These snowdrops are gorgeous!!! Thanks

  9. Sandy & Jim Meyer Says:

    Beautiful, Carolyn! Thanks for sharing. Sandy Meyer

  10. The covered snowdrops look great. Perfect in the snow.

  11. They are lovely in snow. The snow adds a sparkle that shows off the white of the petals well. I have never seen yellow snowdrops, they are charming.

  12. Your snow caves worked a treat Carolyn. I really like the yellows, however Godfrey Owen is right up there with the best.

  13. debsgarden Says:

    They seem at home in the snow. I love Wendy’s Gold!

  14. What a wonderful idea, and what a treat to see these.

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