New Snowdrops for 2022: Part One

Galanthus Midas‘Midas’ has yellow marks on the outer segments, something entirely new to the snowdrop world.

Getting outside in the fall to clean out and mulch my snowdrop beds always lift my spirits as we sink into winter.  Seeing the little green tips beginning to push through the soil is a sign of renewal when the light is fading, the temperature is dropping, and the rest of the garden is dying back. 

When inside, I am busy drafting the 2022 Snowdrop Catalogue, which will be posted on our website in the first half of December.  While my loyal snowdrop customers wait to receive their catalogue notification, this post will give everyone an advance look (sorry, no advance orders) at some of the special, new snowdrops that will be available.  Enjoy!

Nursery News:  Our 2022 Snowdrop Catalogue will be posted on our website in the first half of December.  If you would like to get email notification of the 2022 catalogue, please send your full name, cell number, and mailing address to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  We do not take advance orders for snowdrops.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  We sell plants from approximately December 15 to June 15 through catalogues and during events at our nursery. The only plants that we ship are snowdrops to US customers only.  For catalogues and announcements of local events, please send your full name, mailing address, and cell number to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

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.Galanthus 'Midas'Alan Street at Avon Bulbs sent me this photo of ‘Midas’ in 2017, the year it was introduced.  I couldn’t believe my eyes—here was a swarm of one of the world’s rarest snowdrops!

‘Midas’ was discovered in February 2011 by snowdrop expert Alan Street in the famous Avon Bulbs copse of trees where many unusual and popular snowdrops have originated.  It was found in close proximity to ‘Blonde Inge’ and ‘Trym’, its presumed parents.  A few days later Avon hosted the famous Immortals Luncheon for the exclusive group of people for whom snowdrops have been named.  As the immortals would be exploring the copse with their eagle eyes, ‘Midas’ was ignominiously concealed under a pot.  Avon introduced it for sale in 2017.

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Galanthus Midas

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‘Midas’ has many fine qualities:  Like ‘Blonde Inge’, its ovary is green while its markings are yellow, a very pleasing combination.  Like ‘Trym’ and its numerous progeny, it is an inverse poculiform, meaning its outer segments have been replaced by a whorl of inners. But what makes ‘Midas’ really special are the yellow markings on the outer segments in addition to the inners.

‘Midas’ is a so-called color change snowdrop—it comes out green and changes to yellow—so plant it where it gets some sun to bring out the beautiful, warm golden color.  As an x valentinei, it has the expected vigor of a hybrid snowdrop.

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Galanthus plicatus 'Augustus'‘Augustus’ is classically elegant and award-winning.

‘Augustus’s striking, rounded and quilted flowers with emerald green inner segments stand out in any snowdrop collection.  Its blooms sit atop robust and perky plants, unbeatable when massed.  It has the folded leaves of a G. plicatus but with unusually wide, bright green leaves with a distinct broad silver channel in the center.

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Galanthus Augustus‘Augustus’ is very striking in a group, here in Hilary and Hugh Purkess’s garden “Welshway”.

‘Augustus’ was found by famous plantswoman Amy Doncaster in the garden of Lewis Palmer at Headbourne Worthy, Winchester, and named prior to 1976 for E.A. (Edward Augustus) Bowles.  It has received the coveted Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit, given to only 28 snowdrops out of the over 2,500 in cultivation.

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Galanthus 'Cowhouse Green'‘Cowhouse Green’, shown here at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens.

‘Cowhouse Green’ is a virescent or green-shaded snowdrop.  Gorgeous apple green shading covers the apical half of the outer segments and lightly washes the inner segments—it glows in my garden at dusk.  It is instantly recognizable for its ethereal coloring, tall flower scapes, and elegantly curved flower stems (pedicels).  It was found by French horticulturist Mark Brown in the late 1980s in the garden of Susan Cowdy at Rushmere, The Lee, Buckinghamshire, in an area near Cowhouse Field.

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Galanthus Desdemona‘Desdemona’ is a Greatorex double snowdrop.

‘Desdemona’ was selected by Heyrick Greatorex from his crosses of G. plicatus with G. nivalis ‘Flore Pleno’.  He named his vigorous selections for Shakespeare characters, here Othello’s wife in the Shakespeare tragedy of the same name.  ‘Desdemona’ is one of the largest and strongest Greatorex doubles and considered one of the best for garden display.

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Galanthus Desdemona‘Desdemona’ at Evenley Wood Garden in Northhamptonshire, a snowdrop venue well worth visiting.

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Galanthus Moses Basket MacLennan2‘Moses Basket’ cannot be mistaken for any other snowdrop.  Many thanks to Margaret and David MacLennan, holders of the UK National Collection of Galanthus (Scientific), for the wonderful photo.

‘Moses Basket’ is a very unique cultivar of G. elwesii with two pale spots resembling eyes in the middle of the inner segments and very small dark green marks at the apex.  What makes this snowdrop so special is that when well established the claws (the narrow section at the base of the outer segments) pull the outers in to form a basket with the two eyes peeking out (is that Moses?). 

It was discovered in 2004 at Anglesey Abbey in Cambridgeshire by the Assistant Head Gardener David Jordan.  The snowdrop was named for the grandson of a longtime visitor to Anglesey Abbey and refers to the basket that floated the biblical baby Moses down the Nile.

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Galanthus Rodmarton Arcturus‘Rodmarton Arcturus’ at the famous snowdrop destination Rodmarton Manor in England.

‘Rodmarton Arcturus’: In February 2018, I was given a tour of the snowdrops at Rodmarton Manor in Gloucestershire by the owner, Simon Biddulph, who showed me this snowdrop, which he selected and named for the brightest star in the northern celestial hemisphere.  At the time, I called it one of the most impressive snowdrops I have ever seen, click here.  My superlatives have been born out by none other than Matt Bishop, the author of the snowdrop bible, who describes it in his catalogue as “one of the ten cultivars which I would take with me if sent to live on a desert island”.

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Galanthus Rodmarton ArcturusAn enviable clump of ‘Rodmarton Arcturus’ in the garden of snowdrop expert Ronald Mackenzie.

‘Rodmarton Arcturus’ has enormous, globular,  thick-textured, seersuckered flowers with wide, rounded petals like a spoon and a dark green apical inner marking diffusing to two eye-like spots—an absolute standout!  The excellent habit and attractive, glaucous, blue-green leaves with slight pleating, indicating G. plicatus parentage, complete the package.

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Blogs are a lot more fun for everyone, especially the writer, when readers leave comments.  Scroll down to the end of the page to the box where it says “Leave a Reply” and start typing—-it’s easy!

Carolyn

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Nursery Happenings: You can sign up to receive catalogues and emails about nursery events by sending your full name, mailing address, and cell number to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.  Please indicate if you will be shopping at the nursery and/or are interested in mail order snowdrops.

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 only within the US.

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.

21 Responses to “New Snowdrops for 2022: Part One”

  1. Bonnie Devine Says:

    Hi, guys! I know I’m not following directions, but at 79 and 5 days, it’s the best I can do! I also know that you’ll probably send me the catalog, but it’s a good time to say hello, while I’m still looking forward to next year’s garden, before those wicked north winds arrive. Your snowdrop email always puts a smile on my face, even tho’ I’ll most likely be cold and nasty until they arrive.

    Best, Bonnie

    On Sat, Nov 13, 2021 at 7:36 AM CAROLYN’S SHADE GARDENS wrote:

    > Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens posted: “‘Midas’ has yellow marks on the > outer segments, something entirely new to the snowdrop world. Getting > outside in the fall to clean out and mulch my snowdrop beds always lift my > spirits as we sink into winter. Seeing the little green tips beginning to > p” >

  2. Monica Christensen Says:

    Hi Carolyn, when will you post information on hellebores? Thanks

  3. paula burns Says:

    They’re all gorgeous!

  4. Donna Donabella Says:

    I am excited to see what you will have for sale this year and add a few to this new garden.

  5. Thanks, they are all gorgeous

  6. Cynthia Cronin-Kardon Says:

    So excited!! I was thinking about you and snowdrops and then found this blog in my email. This will help get me through the winter.

  7. LISA M LUYTEN Says:

    I so wish I could get some of these in Canada! Any suggestions?

    • Unfortunately, I don’t know anyone who sells snowdrops in Canada. It would be great if any Canadian readers (and the blog stats show quite a few of you) could please make some recommendations as I get this question all the time. We can’t ship snowdrops to Canada as they are an endangered species covered by international convention and can’t be shipped across international borders without complicated permitting and inspections.

  8. Joeth Barlas Says:

    MANY THANKS FOR THE NOV. 13 BLOG — Midas is simply astonishing — can only imagine what a clump would look like! Seriously, your most recent posts so far have netted a list of 15 to drool over. Awaiting Anne Repnow’s book from Amazon; your review brought me serious joy. In fact, your website and blog postings take the sting out of winter. Thanks for spreading the galanthus lore!

    • Thank you so much for the enthusiastic response, Joeth. I love snowdrops and am thrilled to communicate my fascination to others. But your comment that my blog takes the sting out of winter is what inspires me to keep writing even though it is so much work.

  9. They’re all so beautiful. I’ll have to give it some thought. I do love snowdrops and I have a few…some from you. 🙂

  10. Deborah A. Unitus Says:

    I just discovered your site and it is fabulous. Spent the entire afternoon reading it and have learned so many things. The photos are amazing. Thank you

  11. Jacques Thompson Says:

    Carolyn,

    Spending the day indoors cleaning seedheads of Arisaema sikokianum for the NARGS Seed Ex. as another 3″ of wet, sloppy snow puts any work out in the garden on hold. By blind luck I thought of checking out your website while taking a break. I’ve been checking for a several years but never in time. I’m thrilled at the prospects of having a chance to add some of the beauties that you offer into our garden. Scrolling thru your postings only further increases the anticipation of the 2022 catalog posting.

    Thanks for the stunning images, info and vicarious visits to far away gardens I’ll otherwise never experience!

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