This week a snowdrop special with up close pictures of 6 beautiful collector’s snowdrops. Forget Netflix everyone – there’s a new form of online entertainment in town – Ebay watching. This week I watched in growing excitement as a single snowdrop bulb sold for £635. As the bids came in thick and fast and the price leapt up, I had a rush of adrenalin that is surely a rarity in lockdown Britain. And I wasn’t even bidding!
Ebay is a great way for snowdrop breeders to know that a bulb has found its natural price and there was no shortage of people seeking to buy this bulb of Galanthus ‘Dryad Demeter’, a pretty variety with a strong green marking. There are many out there who scoff at the hobby of snowdrop collection but if it’s your thing then it’s your thing. This was only the second time this bulb had been offered for sale, which explains the price.
I have a small collection of special snowdrops – some in pots and some out in the garden. Right now they are my pride and joy and I’m delighted every day to have something to peer at and marvel in. If some of the ones here pique your fancy then you can read what I’ve learned about where to buy collector’s snowdrops here. With the snowdrop day calendar decimated by Covid, the action is currently online.
Here are six photographed yesterday. I’d moved them to the shelter of the greenhouse whilst the rain drummed down. Genuinely happy times for me.
Galanthus elwesii ‘Godfrey Owen’
This is a variety with six outer sepals, and they dangle daintily from the stem, almost like a downturned crocus. Each petal is ridged and the purest of whites. Tip Godfrey up and he has green-marked slightly ruffled inners.
Galanthus elwesii ‘Anglesey Orange Tip’
New patterns and colourings keep snowdrop collectors on their toes and with an ever expanding wish list. Snowdrops with apricot colourings began to emerge in the 1990s with an elwesii clone named ‘Joy Cozens’, but her orange tones tended to disappear as the flower matured and opened. I’m told that ‘Anglesey Orange Tip’ retains the colouring even when open. It wasn’t quite ready to oblige me by opening yesterday so that I could see for myself.
Galanthus elwesii ‘Yashmak’
I saw this variety when I visited a national collection holder last year as part of the National Garden Scheme openings. Allot of snowdrops do look the same but this one jumped out at me. Why? It’s stature was part of the appeal as it was fairly short with neat, fairly thick glaucous leaves. The colouring was also appealing though, with yellowish inners and pure white outers.
The name derives from the fact that the two olive yellow dots on the inners look like bashful eyes peering out from behind a veil. Naming snowdrops must be an interesting process. My son thinks it looks like the Star Wars character Jar Jar Binks and if it was down to him it would be named as such.
I bought three dormant bulbs last summer from Avon Bulbs and each has sent up two flowers. They look lovely in this pot but I’ll be transplanting at least one of these into the rock garden. Its short stature should suit this setting well.
Galanthus plicatus ‘Trymming’
There are quite a few snowdrops with this interesting shape and strong green markings. Based on my Ebay watching, I’d say they’re pretty popular. I think it looks like a tricorn hat but many describe them as having a shape like a pagoda.
Galanthus plicatus ‘Diggory’
This is a very popular snowdrop as there aren’t many that look like it. This picture doesn’t really show it off as one of the outers is a bit tucked under but hopefully you can see the beautiful shape of the outer – like a billowing sail. This, together with the puckered texture make it a must have for many collectors.
Its name is also an attraction to me. You can forget Angel Clare and Gabriel Oak, my favourite Thomas Hardy character is the reddleman, Diggory Venn. He’s the understated hero of the novel ‘Return of the Native.’
Galanthus ‘Primrose Warburg’
I’ve only got two yellow snowdrops – one called Fiona’s Gold is fending for itself in the wilds of the garden and is only just emerging. Meanwhile pretty Primrose is faring a little better.
This seasonal diary is part of a weekly link-up of garden bloggers from around the world, called Six on Saturday. For more information and links to other blogs crammed with gardening activity, check the blog of host The Propagator.