Archive for Some Snowdrops: A Photographic Ramble

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.

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:  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  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  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.


.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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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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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  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.

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