Archive for galanthophile

New Snowdrops for 2022: Part Two

Posted in bulbs for shade, snowdrops, winter interest with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2021 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

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 carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com 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.
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.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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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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Carolyn

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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.

Some Snowdrops by Anne Repnow

Posted in bulbs for shade, snowdrops, winter interest with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2021 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

img032An unassuming title for a wonderful book.  The snowdrop pictured on the cover is ‘Wol Staines’ from Glen Chantry in England, a nursery that I dream of visiting.

Our current snowdrop catalogue is on line here.

Last fall, I received my copy of Some Snowdrops: A Photographic Ramble by Anne C. Repnow (Davidia Press 2020) and  immediately read it cover-to-cover twice.  Although COVID certainly had something to do with that, I was also captivated by the excellent photographs and comprehensive descriptions.  I want to share this first-rate book with you in time for you to purchase it for use as a reference during the upcoming snowdrop season.

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 carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com 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.
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.img033The book starts with some beautiful landscape photos of snowdrops, this one taken at Brechin Castle in Scotland.

Anne Repnow gardens near Heidelberg, Germany.  She started her career in scientific publishing but during that time took courses in horticulture and landscape design.  Ten years ago she followed her love of gardening into a new career as a garden designer.  Along the way she managed to accumulate 500 snowdrop cultivars in her own garden.  Anne organizes the German snowdrop event Snowdrop Days in Luisenpark.  There is no mention of photography in her bio but the photographs speak for themselves.

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img042‘Godfrey Owen’ comes into bloom early in the main season for snowdrops, generally the second half of January in my garden.  It is one of my favorites and has received the coveted Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit.

The heart of the book is descriptive profiles of 90 Galanthus cultivars illustrated with nearly 280 well-chosen phtographs.  Each snowdrop gets its own page with a full paragraph of description, including an explantion of its markings, an account of its discovery, and a focus on why it is in the book.  For ‘Godfrey Owen’ above, Repnow mentions its exceptional beauty and unusual petal configuration of six inners and six outers.  She also provides a chart with an approximation of bloom time, a ranking of vigor, and a relative price.

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img041‘Wasp’ is a snowdrop that you would recognize anywhere without a label due to its long, narrow, wing-like outer segments and the striped inner segements resembling a thorax.

For this post, I have scanned four pages from Repnow’s book profiling snowdrops that will appear in our 2022 Snowdrop Catalogue: ‘Godfrey Owen’, ‘Wasp’, ‘Three Ships’, and ‘Standing Tall’, which brings me to another reason I love this book.  Repnow does not just focus on snowdrops that are new and relatively unavailable to American gardeners, although there is definitely a large number of those, but includes many snowdrops that are  available in the US.  Eleven cultivars in the book are in our 2022 catalogue, while an additional 14 have been offered previously by Carolyn’s Shade Gardens.  This is not a book for dreamers, but for gardeners who want to grow snowdrops.

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img038‘Standing Tall’ is an American snowdrop selected by bulb expert Charles Cresson and introduced exclusively by Carolyn’s Shade Gardens in 2013.  Its upright habit, height, and mid-December bloom time make it an outstanding snowdrop.

Some Snowdrops includes a wide diversity of snowdrops selected in the UK and all over the rest of Europe and even covers some North American snowdrops.  She profiles ‘Green Bear’ and ‘Rosemary Burnham’ from British Columbia and ‘Potter’s Prelude’ and ‘Standing Tall’ from the US.

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img040‘Three Ships’ is another favorite available in our 2022 catalogue.  Its distinctive, large, round and seersuckered outer segments along with its Christmas bloom time earned it a rare Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit.

If you would like to purchase Anne Repnow’s book, which I highly recommend, you can get it from Barnes and Noble here or Amazon here. Anne tells me that the next installment More Snowdrops is in the works—I can’t wait.

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In my last post I described six snowdrops that Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is offering for the first time in our 2022 Snowdrop Catalogue.  To read the post, click hereFour snowdrops from the catalogue are profiled in this post.  Look for an upcoming post with five more new snowdrops.

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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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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.

New Snowdrops for 2022: Part One

Posted in bulbs for shade, snowdrops, winter interest with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2021 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

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

Our current snowdrop catalogue is on line here.

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:  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 carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com 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.
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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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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.

New Snowdrops for 2021: Part 2

Posted in bulbs for shade, snowdrops, winter interest with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2020 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

‘Sarah Dumont’ is a rare and exquisite yellow snowdrop.  Thanks to photographer Jason Ingram for permission to use this photo, to purchase this print or view others available, click here.

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 2021 Snowdrop Catalogue.  To read that post, click here.  The catalogue will be posted on our website in the first half of December, but here you can get an advance look (sorry, no advance orders) at more of the special, new snowdrops that will be available.  Enjoy!

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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 carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com 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.

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.Thanks to my friend Julian Wormald in Wales for this photo of ‘Sarah Dumont’.  Check out his blog, The Garden Impressionists, here, and visit his amazing garden in person if you are in Wales during snowdrop season.

‘Sarah Dumont’  is a gorgeous snowdrop with a golden yellow pedicel (flower stem), ovary (little cap above the flower), and inner segment mark and a beautiful rounded shape.  It has been described as a superb form, both vigorous and prolific.  On his blog, John Grimshaw calls it “a fabulous yellow”.  All yellows can be greenish without sun, and I have seen many olive-colored yellow snowdrops in England, but I never find this to be true in the sunny mid-Atlantic!  Believed to have been found in a Scottish woodland among a naturalized population of G. plicatus, it was named by Joe Sharman of Monksilver Nursery for a longtime employee.

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Poculiform snowdrops add an ethereal presence to any snowdrop collection.

A snowdrop is poculiform when all six of its segments are outer segments and are roughly the same length.  They are often but not always pure white—a stunning effect.  The snowdrop in our catalogue, G. nivalis subsp. poculiformis, which is pictured above and below, is both poculiform and also pure white. Many forms of this elegant configuration have been found and named over the years.  However, the original was discovered by Head Gardener David Melville at Dunrobin Castle in Scotland and named in 1880 by Reverend Henry Harpur Crewe, an early snowdrop expert.

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Galanthus nivalis subsp. poculiformis

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‘Green Arrow’ is upright and pointy, hence the name.  Shown here at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens.

When touring our snowdrops last spring, a sophisticated galanthophile with many snowdrops in her collection pointed to ‘Green Arrow’ and said “I want that one”—that’s how unique this snowdrop is.  ‘Green Arrow’ is a late-blooming, tall and upright snowdrop with striking, bright green-tipped outer segments and delicate dark emerald green shading on the inner segments, gradually lightening towards the base.  It is distinct and vigorous in our garden with a habit and coloration that makes it stand out from the pack.  Found before 2000 by Sally Pasmore in her garden at Honeysuckle Cottage, Limington, Somerset.

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“Moortown Mighty’ is big!

I am most attracted by extra large snowdrops, so ‘Moortown Mighty’ went to the top of my “must have” list after I saw it displayed at the 2017 RHS show in London.  It has done quite well in my garden.  The huge, very showy flowers with curved and thickly textured outer segments open widely to display the green stained inner segments.  It is said to produce two flower scapes per bulb when fully established.  Its beautiful, ridged and pleated, blue-green leaves show its G. plicatus heritage.  It was discovered in 2007 by French horticulturist Mark Brown in David Bromley’s  garden in Moortown, Shropshire.

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‘Moortown Mighty’ fully open at the RHS show in London.

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The pleated and ridged leaves of ‘Moortown Mighty’.

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‘Wonston Double’

‘Wonston Double’ is a very neat and fully double snowdrop with five outer segments.  The tightly packed inner segments have an inverted green u-shaped mark.  It is late-blooming and very vigorous, increasing rapidly with regular division.  It came from the garden of Hon. Lewis Palmer in the village of Wonston, Hampshire.

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‘Trympostor’ has a unique form.

‘Trympostor’ is an inverse poculiform snowdrop, meaning that all six segments resemble inner segments, creating its instantly recognizable pagoda-like shape.  It is a classic member of the ever-increasing ‘Trym’ family, but with a difference: ‘Trympostor’ is much more vigorous and has performed the best of any of the ‘Trym’ progeny in my garden.  It was selected by snowdrop connoisseur Alan Street at Avon Bulbs and introduced in 2011 at the RHS show at Vincent Square in London where it received a Preliminary Commendation.

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‘Trympostor’: beautiful, distinct, and vigorous.

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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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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.

New Snowdrops for 2021

Posted in bulbs for shade, snowdrops, winter interest with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 14, 2020 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

‘Beth Chatto’ is an extremely rare snowdrop.  Many thanks to Charles Cresson for making it available to our customers.

Our current snowdrop catalogue is on line here.

Snowdrops always lift my spirits as we sink into winter, and this year I need that boost more than ever.  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a very loyal following of snowdrop lovers and, thankfully, we will be able to satisfy their quest for snowdrops whether we are open or closed this spring as we are mailing all snowdrops this year no matter where the customer is located.  The catalogue will be posted on our website in the first half of December, but here you can get an advance look (sorry, no advance orders) at some 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 carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com 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.

.‘Beth Chatto’s’ large, globe-shaped flowers are beautifully displayed by its elegantly pleated, prostrate leaves.  Shown here in the Cresson garden.

‘Beth Chatto’ was discovered in the 1960s at Beth Chatto Gardens, the nursery and gardens of famous English plantswoman Beth Chatto.  It was named for her at the suggestion of Graham Stuart Thomas. It is considered a superior example of Galanthus plicatus subsp. byzantinus. This lovely, late-flowering cultivar has large, rounded, arching outer segments and a bold inner marking with a basal blotch narrowly joined to an apical round-armed V.  It bulks up to an outstanding display of big, globular flowers over the almost prostrate leaves with the elegant pleats characteristic of G. plicatus.

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‘Beth Chatto’s inner markings are very important in distinguishing it from incorrect plants that are circulating under that name.

There is concern in England that the true ‘Beth Chatto’ snowdrop is lost, and some photos are clearly not the right plant—that’s why the inner markings are so important.  However, not only do the plants we are offering match the official description in Matt Bishop’s snowdrop book, but Beth Chatto Gardens has also confirmed to us that this is the right snowdrop.  The provenance of our stock is as follows:  Charles Cresson acquired ‘Beth Chatto’ from John Elsley, former horticulturist for Wayside Gardens, who got it directly from Beth Chatto herself.

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‘Bill Clark’, shown here at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens.

‘Bill Clark’ is the brightest yellow snowdrop in my collection with the color extending into the spathe and flower stem.  This superb and vigorous snowdrop with large and vivid yellow markings is one of the most sought after yellow cultivars of Galanthus plicatus.  The beautiful wide pleated leaves with folded margins make a lovely backdrop for the striking flowers.

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‘Bill Clark’

‘Bill Clark’ was found at Wandlebury Ring, an Iron Age fort and UK National Trust Property near Cambridge, and the birthplace of ‘Wendy’s Gold’.  It was introduced by Joe Sharman of Monksilver Nursery and named after Bill Clark, Warden of Wandlebury Ring.

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‘Bagpuize Virginia’ has large double flowers.

‘Bagpuize Virginia’ has lovely and well-formed double flowers.  International snowdrop expert Alan Street describes it as vigorous with very large flowers for a G. nivalis.  It was found in the garden of Kingston Bagpuize House in Kingston Bagpuize, Oxfordshire, and named in 2000 for the owner Virginia Grant. The Judy’s Snowdrops site has some lovely photos of its inner ruffles, click here and scroll down.

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‘Bagpuize Virginia’ shown here at the famous snowdrop destination Colesbourne Park in England

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‘Fieldgate Prelude’ shown here in the Avon Bulbs display at the 2017 RHS spring show.

‘Fieldgate Prelude’ is a standout when it blooms early in the snowdrop season.  It has slender, well-formed flowers and a large, dark green ovary, but its striking pale green and dark green inner mark make it a desirable addition to any collection.  It is vigorous and easy-to-grow.  Snowdrop expert Colin Mason, whose many snowdrop introductions bear the name of his house Fieldgate, in Warwickshire, selected it around 1990 from seedlings of ‘Mrs. Macnamara’.

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‘Pom Pom’ has very neat rows of inner segments.

‘Pom Pom’ is a wonderful, neat double snowdrop with multiple rows of perfect inner segments resembling a tiny double green camellia.  It was found in a remote churchyard in Berkshire, England, by renowned snowdrop expert Alan Street.

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‘Pom Pom’ in the garden.

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‘Natalie Garton’ in the Avon Bulbs display at Vincent Square in London.

‘Natalie Garton’ is a strong grower in our garden with large, round, and substantial flowers with thick petals and a prominent, heart-shaped inner marking.  Its extra inner segments make it a semi-double snowdrop and add to the excitement when the many blooms appear in late winter.  It was named for the Oxfordshire gardener who discovered it prior to 1996.

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‘Natalie Garton’s’ extra inner segments make it a semi-double snowdrop.

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‘Natalie Garton’, shown here in the Warwickshire garden of Olive Mason, is a Galanthus elwesii and multiplies rapidly to form a substantial clump.

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

When choosing snowdrops for my own garden, I seek out unique and eye-catching cultivars, e.g., extra large flowers, bright yellow color, poculiform configuration, among others.  Of the many traits a snowdrop can have, twin flowers, two flowers and pedicels on the end of each scape, are very rare.  This charming snowdrop with its whimsical name, ‘One Drop or Two?’, does just that once it has settled in.  It was discovered around 2005 in a remote corner of Berkshire by expert snowdrop hunter Alan Street who also bestowed the clever name.

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This photo clearly shows the twin flowers emerging from one stem.

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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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New Snowdrop Book

Posted in bulbs for shade, containers for shade, landscape design, Shade Perennials, snowdrops, winter, winter interest with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 14, 2015 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Our current snowdrop catalogue is on line here.

Cover of SnowdropsThe cover of the exciting new snowdrop book recently published in The Plant Lover’s Guide Series by Kew Gardens in London.

I don’t think I have ever done a book review on this blog, but I want to share my excitement about the new snowdrop book published by Timber Press in association with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in London.  It is called The Plant Lover’s Guide to Snowdrops and was written by Naomi Slade, a prize-winning British journalist.   I highly recommend it as an invaluable resource for gardeners at all levels in their love of snowdrops, from novice to expert.

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 to the US only.  For catalogues and announcements of local events, please send your full name, mailing address, and cell number to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com 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.

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Galanthus nivalis in Welford Park, BerkshireCommon snowdrops, G. nivalis, at Welford Park in Berkshire, England—just one of the locations identified in the book as a place to see snowdrops (photo by Naomi Slade appears on page 16) .

The best part of the book for me is the photographs, both those accompanying the individually profiled snowdrops, which are both enticing and accurate, and also the many pictures of snowdrops in gardens mostly in the US and UK, which are quite beautiful.  Whether you are a thoroughly obsessed galanthophile or just thinking of branching out with snowdrops for the first time, you will love reading this book, not once but over and over.

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Sladesnowdropbook 1-13-2015 4-13-14 PMThe title page for the chapter on Growing and Propagating snowdrops.

The book is divided into five main chapters followed by further information on where to see snowdrops and where to buy them.  Slade begins with an explanation of “Why I Love Snowdrops” that sets the tone for the whole book, which is approachable, informative, and refreshing.  Although the author points out that a lack of detailed knowledge is not a barrier to appreciating this universally loved plant, her enthusiasm makes you want to acquire or revisit that knowledge.

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Sladesnowdropbook 1-13-2015 2-35-43 PMPhotos illustrating the discussion of good companion plants for snowdrops.

The next section of the book considers “Designing with the Milk Flower”.  Slade discusses garden design and placement, easy snowdrops for beginners, naturalizing, rock gardens, and container planting.  There are many inspired ideas for companion plantings covering other bulbs, perennials, trees, and shrubs. 

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Sladesnowdropbook 1-13-2015 2-40-18 PMCreative uses of snowdrops in containers

In “Understanding Snowdrops”, the book explains in a user-friendly way snowdrop morphology or structure, concepts that are important to understanding the differences between snowdrops and deciphering written descriptions of them.  Slade covers snowdrop species and their origins, conservation and trade, and even snowdrop theft.

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Sladesnowdropbook 1-13-2015 4-14-20 PMAlthough originally mostly single-flowered and green and white, Slade explains that the Greatorex doubles led to many more double forms and that yellow and even orange snowdrops can be found.

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Sladesnowdropbook 1-13-2015 4-13-56 PMProfiles of ‘Grumpy’ and G. elwesii var. monostictus

The “Spotter’s Guide” section highlights 60 snowdrops chosen with great care to represent the range available and includes many of the most-loved and best-performing cultivars.   The photographs are excellent and the individual descriptions are fresh and informative.

. Sladesnowdropbook 1-13-2015 4-13-36 PMEach snowdrop profiled gets plenty of space for photos and descriptions.

The final main section is on “Growing and Propagating” and covers planting, dividing, fertilizing, propagating, and pests and diseases.  This is followed by a very comprehensive guide to where to see snowdrops worldwide, including the US, and where to buy them, including Carolyn’s Shade Gardens.

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Sladesnowdropbook 1-13-2015 5-53-33 PMCambo Estate in Scotland is a great place to see snowdrops, while the Scottish Rock Garden Club forum on galanthus, click here, is a great place to learn about snowdrops.

One of Naomi Slade’s missions in writing this book was to appeal to an American audience, and she has succeeded.  While the UK is definitely the eye of the current snowdrop tornado, Slade ferrets out a lot of information useful to US readers.  Of the eight snowdrop professionals whose interviews she spreads through out the book, three of them are American, including me on page 76.  The book identifies and also anticipates the snowdrop collecting frenzy that is coming to America.  I can’t wait.

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snowdropsAnother photo of Welford Park by Naomi Slade.

If you would like to order a copy of this book, Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has it available for $24.95 plus $5.95 for priority shipping.  Send an email to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  

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.

Companion Plants for Snowdrops

Posted in bulbs for shade, Shade Perennials, snowdrops, winter, winter interest with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 5, 2015 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Our current snowdrop catalogue is on line here.

Galanthus nivalis & Arum italicum 'Pictum'Snowdrops, G. nivalis, with Italian arum and snow crocus, C. tommasinianus, in the background.

The main attraction of snowdrops is that they bloom at a time of year when flowers are rare in the garden.  There is nothing like a solitary group of beautiful white flowers to light up a dismal, cold day in February.   Although companion plants are not necessary to achieve this effect, snowdrops are even more lovely when paired with other flowering plants or evergreen leaves.  This post will give you some ideas of what plants combine well with snowdrops to create winter interest in your garden.

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 to the US only.  For catalogues and announcements of local events, please send your full name, mailing address, and cell number to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com 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.

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Galanthus nivalis and EranthisSnowdrops and winter aconite, Eranthis hyemalis, are the perfect combination for early in the snowdrop season.  Both naturalize well in woodland conditions.

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Eranthis hyemalis & Galanthus 'S. Arnott'Winter aconite and ‘S. Arnott’, the most popular of all snowdrops with UK gardeners.

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Galanthus elwesiiEvergreen (technically winter green) ferns are a great backdrop for snowdrops, here giant snowdrops, G. elwesii, and Japanese holly fern.

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Galanthus elwesii var. monostichtus Hiemalis Group CSG -01The evergreen leaves of hellebores also set off snowdrops well.

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Hybrid hellebore & G. 'Brenda Troyle'When the hellbores bloom it is even better, here a hybrid hellebore and ‘Brenda Troyle’.

. Galanthus 'Standing Tall'‘Standing Tall’ picks up the silver markings on the evergreen leaves of Chinese ginger.

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Galanthus nivalis and Cyclamen coum at Carolyn's Shade GardensSnowdrops with winter-blooming hardy cyclamen, C. coum.  They also pair well with the much larger, silver-marked, evergreen leaves of fall-blooming cyclamen, C. hederifolium.

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Galanthus reginae-olgae, Lamium 'Shell Pink'‘Shell Pink’ lamium blooms in my garden into December so it is a great companion for fall-blooming snowdrops like the G. reginae-olgae above.  Once the flowers are gone, the silver stripes on the evergreen leaves continue to combine well with later-blooming snowdrops.

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Galanthus nivalis & Arum itlalicumI think snowdrops and Italian arum are my favorite combination, here under the reddish branches of ‘Magic Carpet’ spiraea.

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Galanthus 'Atkinsii' & Arum italicum 'Pictum'A beautifully marked arum and ‘Atkinsii’.

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Galanthus nivalis & Heuchera 'Creme Brulee' Many native heucheras hold their color all winter and look great with snowdrops, especially ‘Caramel’, ‘Citronelle’, ‘Frosted Violet’, ‘Autumn Bride’, and ‘Blackout’.

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Galanthus 'S. Arnott', Narcissus 'Rijnveld's Early Sensation'Favorite ‘S. Arnott’ with the very early-blooming daffodil ‘Rijnveld’s Early Sensation’.

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Galanthus nivalis, Crocus tommasinianusSnowdrops naturalized with ‘Ruby Giant’ snow crocus.

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Galanthus nivalis CressonOf course, there is something to be said for naturalizing large quantities of common snowdrops to enjoy en masse.

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galanthus in French woods from AlanSomeday your woods may look like this French forest photographed by Alan Street.

Carolyn

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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.

New Snowdrops for 2015

Posted in bulbs for shade, Shade Perennials, snowdrops, winter, winter interest with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2014 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Our current snowdrop catalogue is on line here.

Galanthus 'Wasp' with Galanthus 'Diggory'There couldn’t be more different looking snowdrops than ‘Wasp’ in the foreground above and ‘Diggory’ in the background.

This post includes additional photographs and more detailed descriptions of four of the new snowdrops I am offering for sale in my 2015 Snowdrop Catalogue. The catalogue will be emailed to all my customers in early January, but you can view it now by clicking here.  There are four more new snowdrop cultivars offered in the catalogue plus two snowflakes (leucojums), but they are either sold or about to sell out so I decided not to include them.  I recommend ordering right away to secure the snowdrops you want.  For entertaining descriptions of many of the remaining varieties offered, click here.

Most of the information about the snowdrops profiled below comes from the indispensable  Snowdrops: A Monograph of Cultivated Galanthus by Matt Bishop, Aaron Davis, and John Grimshaw (2006 Griffin Press)( called Snowdrops below).

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 to the US only.  For catalogues and announcements of local events, please send your full name, mailing address, and cell number to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com 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.

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Galanthus plicatus 'Diggory'Galanthus plicatus ‘Diggory’

There is no other snowdrop that looks like ‘Diggory’ so if you think all snowdrops look alike this is the one for you.  The squared-off pear-shaped flowers with seersucker outers and the large green inner mark visible even when the flower is closed, make ‘Diggory’ recognizable  anywhere.  The blooms resemble miniature hot air balloons hanging on tiny shepherd’s crooks, absolutely charming.  The unique look is further enhanced by the pleated leaves visible in the photo below and characteristic of a Crimean snowdrop, G. plicatus.

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Galanthus  plicatus 'Diggory'‘Diggory’s’ leaves with their elegant side pleats are also very attractive.

‘Diggory’ is a relatively new snowdrop.  It was found in a naturalized stand of G. plicatus in 1993 by two well known British galanthophiles and first exhibited in 1998 when it received a commendation.  The name was chosen to memorialize the son of one of the discoverers.  When Avon Bulbs in England asked its customers to name their favorite snowdrops, ‘Diggory’ ranked number 4  out of the 1,000 or more snowdrops in cultivation.

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Galanthus nivalis 'Blonde Inge'‘Blonde Inge’ is a very desirable yellow-marked snowdrop.

‘Blonde Inge’ is unusual because the  lovely yellow markings on its inner segments are combined with a green ovary (the little cap above the flower).  It is a cultivar of the common snowdrop, G. nivalis, and as such tolerates a wide variety of garden conditions.  It builds up quickly and is very striking in a clump as you can see in the photo below.

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Galanthus nivalis 'Blonde Inge'‘Blonde Inge’ grows rapidly to form an impressive clump.

‘Blonde Inge’ was discovered in 1977 in a cemetery near Cologne, Germany, and introduced by Nicholas Top to the UK in 1993.  The name came from the lyrics of a German foxtrot, which you can hear by clicking here.

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Galanthus 'Wasp'‘Wasp’ has long, elegant outer segments.

Matt Bishop calls ‘Wasp’ an aptly named snowdrop, and I have to agree.  The very long and narrow outer segments stick out at an angle like wings and the tubular inner segments are striped to resemble a thorax.  ‘Wasp’ flies around on its long pedicel in the slightest breeze completing the insect-like effect.  This charming and unique snowdrop caused a sensation among UK galanthophiles when it was first introduced in the late 1990s.  It was discovered in 1995 by British snowdrop enthusiast Veronica Cross at Sutton Court.

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Galanthus 'Walrus' Cadwalader‘Walrus’ is a very uniform double snowdrop considering how unusual it looks.

Snowdrops calls ‘Walrus’ “one of the greatest eccentrics of the snowdrop world”, but despite this it is not wild looking like ‘Blewbury Tart’ but instead a very regularly formed double. As you can see in the photo above, its ‘tusks’ are the three very long, linear, mostly green outer segments.  They surround a lovely rosette whose segments curve outward to look like a green rose. 

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Galanthus nivalis 'Walrus'  Alan StreetMaybe my expanding clump of ‘Walrus’ will one day look like this photo taken by Alan Street of Avon Bulbs.

‘Walrus’ is a cultivar of the common snowdrop, G. nivalis, and tolerates a wide variety of conditions.  It is vigorous and multiplies well in the garden.  It was selected in the 1960s by noted galanthophile Oliver Wyatt at Maidwell Hall in Northamptonshire, England.  ‘Walrus’ ranked number 12 on the list of favorite snowdrops of UK gardeners.

Carolyn

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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.

Do All Snowdrops Look Alike?

Posted in bulbs for shade, Shade Perennials, snowdrops, winter, winter interest with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2014 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Galanthus 'Wasp'‘Wasp’ certainly has all the elements of a typical snowdrop, but its long petals and unusual markings make it look just like the flying insect when the wind blows.

Our current snowdrop catalogue is on line here.

People often try to tell me that all snowdrops look alike: white with three longer outer petals and three shorter inner petals with a green mark.  They should know better.  I would never admit that as I am a galanthophile who revels in observing the smallest differences.  I can go on at length about bloom time, leaf color and shape, and the intricacies of the inner mark, but I won’t.  Here I want to show you snowdrops that even the skeptical will recognize as different.

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 to the US only.  For catalogues and announcements of local events, please send your full name, mailing address, and cell number to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com 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.

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Galanthus 'Ballerina'The elegant and graceful double snowdrop ‘Ballerina’ certainly stands out from the pack.

Most gardeners are all about the flowers, and it is the blooms that I will focus on here.  The flower variations just within the three inner segments (petals)-three outer segments-single green inner mark theme are amazing, and I will show you a few of those like ‘Wasp’ above.  But then there are yellow snowdrops, regular doubles like ‘Ballerina’ above, virescent (green) snowdrops, crazy doubles, flowers with extra petals, all white snowdrops, the variety is endless.  There is even ‘The Alburgh Claw’.  Let’s start the show.

Galanthus 'Melanie Broughton'Although still single-flowered and green and white, ‘Melanie Broughton’ has a very large solid green inner mark and bright white, puffy and quilted outer segments.

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Galanthus elwesii 'Daphne's Scissors'‘Daphne’s Scissors’ has a very unusual inner mark shaped like scissors.  Thanks to Mark Smyth at the Galanthus Gallery for supplying this excellent photo.

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Galanthus 'Viridapice'‘Viridapice’ has green markings on the outside of the flower.

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Galanthus 'Diggory' ‘Diggory’ is the only snowdrop flower with pear-shaped, squared off outer segments.

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Galanthus 'Rosemary Burnham'‘Rosemary Burnham’ is a virescent snowdrop with a solid green inner mark and elegant green stripes completely covering the outer segments.

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Galanthus 'Spindlestone Surprise'‘Spindlestone Surprise’ is one of a growing number of snowdrops that have a yellow mark and a yellow ovary (the cap on top of the flower).  Others include ‘Wendy’s Gold’ and ‘Primrose Warburg’.

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Galanthus nivalis 'Blonde Inge'‘Blonde Inge’ is one of the few galanthus that combine a yellow mark with a green ovary.

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Galanthus nivalis 'Lady Elphinstone' Cadwalader‘Lady Elphinstone’ is the only double yellow.

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Galanthus elewesii 'Godfrey Owen'‘Godfrey Owen’ doubles the number of inner and outer petals to six each and holds its flowers open in a beautiful whorl.

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Galanthus 'Hill Poe'‘Hill Poe’ is a late blooming double with lots of white inside.

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Galanthus nivalis 'Blewbury Tart'‘Blewbury Tart’ is a vigorous double snowdrop with outward-facing, mostly green flowers.

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Galanthus nivalis 'Anglesey Abbey'‘Anglesey Abbey’ can be solid white and poculiform, meaning that its inner segments are replaced by outer segments.

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Galanthus 'Walrus' Cadwalader‘Walrus’ has mostly green inner segments and long green outer “tusks”.

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And you were wondering about ‘The Alburgh Claw’, well click here for a photo of one of the weirdest snowdrop forms, the spikey double.

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.

Top 25 Snowdrops Part Two

Posted in bulbs for shade, Shade Perennials, snowdrops, winter, winter interest with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 4, 2014 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

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 to the US only.  For catalogues and announcements of local events, please send your full name, mailing address, and cell number to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com 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.

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Galanthus 'Walrus' CadwaladerNumber 12: ‘Walrus’, a very striking double common snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) with narrow green outer segments arching like the tusks of a walrus and very green and regular inner segments forming a rosette, selected in the 1960s.

Our current snowdrop catalogue is on line here.

In Part One of this post, I explained that although the basic ornamental characteristics making up snowdrop plants may seem limited, over 1,000 cultivars (some say as many as 1,500) have been selected.  For gardeners who are just starting to add snowdrops to their collection, the choices can seem daunting.  However, a recent survey conducted by Avon Bulbs, the well-respected British snowdrop nursery, can help with the process.

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Galanthus nivalis 'Walrus'‘Walrus’ looks very pretty from the top, and it is easy to see the ‘tusks’ that give it its name.

During the 2012 and 2013 snowdrop season, Avon Bulbs asked its customers from all over the European Union to choose their three favorite snowdrops.  Avon then produced a ranking of its customers’ 25 favorite snowdrop plants.   In Part One of this post, which you can read here, I profiled Numbers 13 through 25 and provided a photo or  link to a photo for each plant.  In this post, I will show you the top 12 snowdrops.

Note: When I don’t have my own photo, I have linked to photos provided on the wonderful website Judy’s Snowdrops, which I highly recommend as a source for snowdrop information.

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Number 11:  ‘South Hayes’, first seen in 1992 in Primrose Warburg’s garden and probably a seedling of ‘Trym’ (number 3), one of the most sought after snowdrop bulbs for its distinctive pagoda-like shape and very unusual dark green markings.  Available in 2019 CSG catalogue.

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Number 10:  ‘John Gray’, a beautifully marked, full and perfect flower hung on a graceful, long arching pedicel (flower stem), first offered for sale in 1967.   It is interesting to note that the snowdrop “bible”, Snowdrops: A Monograph of Cultivated Galanthus by Matt Bishop et al., first published in 2001, says the following about ‘John Gray’:

There can be no doubt that a survey of galanthophiles’ favourite snowdrops would place ‘John Gray’ in the top ten, a position it would maintain among the current wide range of cultivars despite its age.

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Galanthus 'Atkinsii'Number 9: ‘Atkinsii’, an early-blooming and quite vigorous hybrid with large, robust flowers sporting a heart-shaped marking on the inner segment, originated in the 1860s.

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Galanthus 'Atkinsii'A close up of ‘Atkinsii’, which Snowdrops says has “elegant elongated flowers that suggest the drop-pearl earrings of Elizabeth I.”

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Number 8: ‘Three Ships’, an early flowering Crimean snowdrop (Galanthus plicatus) with lovely rounded, well-proportioned flowers displaying a wonderful puckered texture on the outer segments, found in 1984.

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Galanthus 'Augustus' CadwaladerNumber 7:  ‘Augustus’, the plump, well-rounded flowers with great texture are set off perfectly by the lovely pleated leaves of a Crimean snowdrop for an overall great presentation, named prior to 1976. 

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Galanthus plicatus 'Augustus'A close up of ‘Augustus’ showing its elegant textured petals and large inner mark.

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Number 6: ‘Mrs. Macnamara’, an early-flowering giant snowdrop (Galanthus elwesii) combining all the fine characteristics of a classic snowdrop, frequently mentioned as a favorite on garden blogs.

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Galanhtus 'Wendy's Gold' 1 entranceNumber 5: ‘Wendy’s Gold’, a Crimean snowdrop (G. plicatus) cultivar with beautiful yellow markings on the ovary and inner segments.  Available in 2019 CSG catalogue.

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Galanthus plicatus 'Wendy's Gold'Alan Street from Avon Bulbs sent me this photo of a clump of ‘Wendy’s Gold’, saying that mine would look like this some day!

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Galanthus 'Diggory' Number 4: ‘Diggory’, a snowdrop I would recognize anywhere for its squared-off pear-shaped flowers, heavily quilted texture, and large green inner mark.  Available in 2019 CSG catalogue.

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Galanthus plicatus 'Diggory'This clump of ‘Diggory’ shows its unique look and the pleated leaves characteristic of a Crimean snowdrop.

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Galanthus Trym

Number 3: ‘Trym’, the first snowdrop selected for the combination of its unique pagoda-like shape and large marks on the outer segments, it is obviously still very popular even though other snowdrops like its descendant ‘South Hayes’ now exhibit this form.  Available in 2019 CSG catalogue.

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Galanthus 'Magnet'Number 2:  ‘Magnet’, a very vigorous classic snowdrop selected in the 1880s with a long and slender pedicel allowing the flower to sway in the slightest breeze.  Available in 2019 CSG catalogue.

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Galanthus 'Magnet'A close up of ‘Magnet’ showing its arching pedicel.

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Galanthus 'S. Arnott'Number 1:  ‘S. Arnott’, large rounded, sweetly scented flowers with a heart-shaped green marking on the inner segment.  The book Snowdrops has this to say about ‘S. Arnott’:

In fifty years time it will be interesting to see which of the newer snowdrops described in these pages will still be going strong, having established a reputation as a first-class garden plant with an unquestionable constitution, admired by everyone.  Such is this classic snowdrop.

Available in 2019 CSG catalogue.

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Galanthus 'S. Arnott'‘S. Arnott’ displays its “unquestionable constitution”.

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It is interesting to note that six of the twelve top ranked snowdrops are descended from the Crimean snowdrop, G. plicatus.  And seven of the top twelve display what I would call a traditional snowdrop look with nothing “newfangled” about them.  As with numbers 13 through 25, the top twelve ranked snowdrop bulbs show that, in the long run, classic and vigorous garden plants are more highly valued by knowledgeable collectors than the latest hot snowdrop off eBay.  I find this refreshing in a horticultural world that often seems to discount the tried and true in favor of the latest fad.

Carolyn

If you are looking for more information on snowdrops, I highly recommend the Scottish Rock Garden Club forum galanthus thread where galanthophiles from all over the world meet to obsess about snowdrops, click here.

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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.

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