New Snowdrops for 2022: Part Two

Galanthus EA Bowles‘E. A. Bowles’  is in a class by itself, shown here at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens.

Our current snowdrop catalogue is on line here.

Thank you to my readers for the enthusiastic response to my first post on the new snowdrops that Carolyn’s Shade Gardens will offer in its 2022 Snowdrop Catalogue.  To read that post, click hereThe catalogue will be posted on our website in the first half of December, but here is an advance look (sorry, no advance orders) at more of the special, new snowdrops that will be available.  Enjoy!
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 within the US.  For catalogues and announcements of local events, please send your full name, mailing address, and cell number to and indicate whether you are interested in snowdrops.  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 EA Bowles-001‘E.A. Bowles’ caused a sensation in 2011 when it sold for the highest recorded price ever paid for a snowdrop.

‘E.A. Bowles’ invites the use of every over-the-top adjective in the snowdrop lexicon and, if I was forced to pick a favorite snowdrop, this would be it.  It towers over other snowdrops and produces gigantic, magnificent, pure white flowers that are perfectly poculiform, meaning all six segments are outer segments.  It blooms very late in the season and, with its height and flower size, could easily be mistaken for a white daffodil.  It is a G. plicatus cultivar, and its broad, shiny green leaves only add to the allure.


Galanthus EA Bowles‘E.A. Bowles’ prominently featured in the Avon Bulbs display at the 2018 RHS Show.

‘E.A. Bowles’ was discovered  in 2002 by North Yorkshire snowdrop expert Michael Myers at Myddelton House, Enfield, Middlesex, the former home and garden of famous plantsman E.A. Bowles (1865-1954).  Its status as an outstanding snowdrop was immediately apparent, and it received a Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit.  In 2011, it was the first snowdrop to receive significant attention from the non-gardening press when it fetched the then mind boggling price of £357 at auction.


Galanthus The Wizard‘The Wizard’

‘The Wizard’s’ lighter green, heart-shaped markings on the large outer segments paired with the almost completely green inner segments result in an enchanting snowdrop.  It has the traditional, pagoda-like shape of an inverse poculiform, where all the outer segments have been replaced by a whorl of inners, and a tall, upright habit with the lovely leaves characteristic of a G. plicatus

It was discovered by snowdrop expert Alan Street in the copse at Avon Bulbs and first offered for sale in 2014.  Although there are many ‘Trym’-like snowdrops available now, ‘The Wizard’ cast its spell over Anne Repnow and was included in her new book profiling only 90 out of over 2,500 named snowdrop cultivars.  For a review of her wonderful book, click here.

Galanthus Mrs Thompson 333‘Mrs. Thompson’s’ erratic behavior is highly prized in the snowdrop world.

‘Mrs. Thompson’ defies snowdrop norms.  Uniformity is usually highly prized among snowdrop collectors, but, paradoxically, this snowdrop’s erratic behavior has made it more desirable.  Along with an elegant and stately classic flower, when well established, it also produces twins (two flowers with separate pedicels on the same scape), fused flowers, and flowers with 4, 5, or even 6 outer segments.  Rather than detracting from the beauty of the clump, these quirks make ‘Mrs. Thompson’ enchanting.


Galanthus Mrs. ThompsonThe left flower has five outer segments instead of the usual three, and the right flower is composed of two fused flowers on the same scape.

‘Mrs. Thompson’ was discovered by Mrs. N.G. Thompson of Red House, Escrick, York, and was sent by her to the RHS Scientific Committee, chaired by E.A. Bowles, for consideration in 1950.


Galanthus 'Cordelia'‘Cordelia’ produces a very neat, green rosette.

‘Cordelia’ is a beautiful and elegant double snowdrop originated prior to 1954 by English plantsman Heyrick Greatorex as part of his famous series of large and vigorous double snowdrops, resulting from his crosses of G. plicatus with G. nivalis ‘Flore Pleno’.  He named his doubles after characters in Shakespeare’s plays—here the youngest daughter in King Lear.


Galanthus 'Cordelia'‘Cordelia’ at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens

‘Cordelia’ is one of the lesser known but more easily identifiable Greatorex doubles due to its large, variable,  green inner marking, superior height, and very uniform and neat rosette.  It thrives in my garden!


Galanthus 'Phantom'‘Phantom’ produces two types of flowers.  One is the very lovely, pure white poculiform shown above.  This is the flower form that appears if only one flower is produced.


Galanthus 'Phantom'This is ‘Phantom’s’ other flower type: a spooky looking snowdrop with markings configured like G. plicatus subsp. byzantinus.

‘Phantom’ is a very mysterious snowdrop of unknown origin and previously unknown configuration.  When established, it produces two very different flowers from the same bulb. 

The first is a beautiful, large, pure white, six-petaled poculiform like ‘E.A. Bowles’.  The second is a flower with basal and apical markings on the inner segments like G. plicatus subsp. byzantinus.  The markings on the second flower resemble large and elongated eyes and a down-turned mouth, very phantom-like, which may have contributed to the name.


Galanthus 'Phantom'Both types of flowers appear on this beautiful specimen shown by Avon Bulbs at the 2017 RHS Show.

The mystery continues with ‘Phantom’s’ origin.  It was introduced in 2015 by Alan Street at Avon Bulbs, but the collector from whom he thought he got it denies giving it to him.


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16 Responses to “New Snowdrops for 2022: Part Two”

  1. Oh my…so exciting to see the really unusual snowdrops. Highly anticipating the release of the new catalog!

  2. Cynthia Cronin-Kardon Says:


    These are gorgeous. Can’t wait for the catalog!! I bought the book so I can indulge my snowdrop fever until the catalog arrives and then my snowdrops. Thanks for getting me hooked on the flowers. To imagine that I used to look down at snowdrops and just see tiny white flowers with no distinction among them!


    Carolyn, I’d love to get some snowdrops, and I don’t even care what variety they are – I like them all! Is there any chance that, when the time comes to order, you could email me and tell me which ones are left after most of the ordering is done? Then I’ll just order those right away. Thanks – Louise

    Sent from my iPhone


  4. Matt Lidster Says:

    Hi Carolyn
    Another enjoyable read and although I can’t order from you (living in SW Scotland) I share others anticipation in the wind up to ‘open season’.
    I run a garden where JM Barrie played as a child and credited as his inspiration for the Peter Pan story. It is also only a stone’s throw from where Sam Arnott was born so imagine my amazement that it held not a single snowdrop! I now have a few thousand nivalis and am building a small collection of species and choice varieties.
    Good fortune for the approaching season!

    • Thank you so much for your lengthy comment, Matt. How fun to be able to start a snowdrop collection in a place where the public can see it. I believe that there are snowdrops collections at quite a few public gardens in Scotland. Maybe they would like to donate additional varieties for you to plant at your garden.

  5. All these snowdrops are beautiful and tempting. I have enjoyed your website for years and so far have just read rather than commented. But I finally feel compelled to thank you for the valuable information and wonderful photography you provide. I’ve learned a lot and your knowledge has helped enhance my own garden. My interest in snowdrops goes back to childhood, when my dad and I found an abandoned homesite deep in the woods filled with snowdrops. He brought some back home and I admired them in his yard for many decades. When he passed away, I brought them to my various gardens as a memorial to him. Right now I have had some of these childhood treasures growing in my latest garden for nearly 11 years, and something- perhaps the amount of time in the garden because of the pandemic- has pushed me into being a galanthophile. Starting with his, I now have around a dozen kinds, and am looking to add a few more unusual treasures this year. I would like one- or a dozen- of each you have showed in your new for 2022 posts, though possibly I will only be able to afford just one. But whatever it is, I am sure it will be amazing to have a small piece of your garden in my own. Gardens are meant to be shared and are best when they hold not only your own hopes and dreams, but the love and care of an endless succession of gardeners. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and a wonderful vicarious view of your garden through the years.

    • What an elegant comment! I am so glad that you have found all my hard work valuable. I too fell in love with snowdrops at an old homesite, which is the gardener’s cottage and carriage house for an old estate where we live. It is surrounded by tens of thousands of common snowdrops, which have been increasing here for over a hundred years. The great thing about snowdrops is that they multiply so you won’t need to purchase a dozen—one will be fine.

      • That would be stunning to see such a carpet of snowdrops! In over a decade in my current garden, my dad’s snowdrops haven’t spread nearly as much, though I am encouraging them. Gardening must be genetic for me. I am named for my dad’s sister, Ruth, who married Keith Smiley and lived most of her life at Mohonk, a resort in upstate NY where she helped develop the gardens and nature trails. She and my dad were my gardening mentors, and it’s fun to carry on their love of flowers and wildlife. I am eagerly waiting for your catalog. Though I know one bulb is enough since they do increase, I must admit I often lack the patience so important to a gardener and sometimes dream of planting endless drifts of all my favorite flowers. Of course, letting nature shape our gardens can be more than half the fun! Thanks again for your entertaining and informative website!

  6. Michelle DAgostino Says:


    is your website up to date before I order snow drops?


    Michelle D’Agostino

    On Sat, Nov 20, 2021 at 7:51 AM CAROLYN’S SHADE GARDENS wrote:

    > Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens posted: “‘E. A. Bowles’ is in a class by > itself, shown here at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens. Thank you to my readers for > the enthusiastic response to my first post on the new snowdrops that > Carolyn’s Shade Gardens will offer in its 2022 Snowdrop Catalogue. To read > t” >

  7. Mary Ann Ziemba Says:

    Some of the snowdrops that I bought from you years ago have multiplied into large patches of healthy plants. Can I leave them like this? Should the clusters be separated into smaller groups? I know that some bulb-based plants like daffodils benefit from periodic separation. Thanks.

    • Snowdrops should be divided regularly if they are multiplying rapidly, some say every three years. If you let them remain in tight clumps, they often become diseased. Dig the clump up very carefully without breaking any roots. Gently spray the soil off and tease them apart, preserving as many roots as possible. Plant them individually or in very small groups at the same depth they were planted, adding compost to the hole. Fertilize with liquid fish/seaweed emulsion.

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