I thought maybe I should have a few Snowdrops that were “different”. I’d seen the incredible prices that unusual bulbs had fetched on eBay over the last couple of years, heard of the term Galanthophile, but never given much thought to the variety of snowdrops that might be out there (over 2,000 different registered varieties …). I naively thought I could buy a single bulb, let it multiply over the years, and in a decade or so have a nice clump from which I could pick the flowers for an unusual table-centre arrangement.
Having researched it a bit there are reasons why the rare snowdrops are rare – obviously, now I stop to think about it. They are maybe slow to multiply, or are fickle and need TLC to stay alive, susceptible to pests, and so on. But, amongst the unusual ones, there are “good do’ers” which, with a little help and luck, should multiply reasonably quickly and not cost a fortune. I still managed to spend over £100 on 9 bulbs at Harvey’s annual snowdrop open day!
Last March 2012 I bought 600 plain (G. nivalis) snowdrops for the woodland walk, 100 doubles (G. Flore Pleno), and 100 of the earlier D. elswii, and 50 G. ikariae. As of mid February 2013 they have come up, looking a little sparse!, along the new walk and look like they will make a good showing when they have bulked up a bit in a few year’s time.
Eurobulbs also do a few of the less common varieties, and I bought some as they were the most economical that I could find (working out at between £2 and £4 each). I have bought (from them I think):
Nivalis x500 £40.00
Nivalis x500 £40.00
Flore Pleno x100 £15.00
Arnott x10 £20.00
Atkinsii x10 ?20.00
Elwesii x100 £28.00
Green Bush x5 £20.00
Ikariae x50 £17.00
Magnet x5 £20.00
Viridapice x10 £20.00
Warham x5 £20.00
Leucojum Gravetye Giant x25 £20.00
I then bought some from Harvey’s annual snowdrop open day, and a few others off eBay when my miserly bid turned out to be an auction winner.
Augustus £7.50 & £10.00
Baxendales Late £6.00
Bill Bishop £5.50
Cowhouse Green £30.00
Faringdon Double x 2 £12.50
from Slovakia. Very late. £3.24
Green Man £14.25
Hiemalis ex Broadleigh Gardens x 2 £10.50
Kite £15.00 – twin head very early-blooming with extremely long outer segments
Little Magnet £12.00
Mighty Atom x3 very large, rounded, bright white flowers, one of the biggest flowers
Mrs Backhouse No.12 x 2 £7.00
Mrs McNamara x 2 £12.50
Robin Hood x3
Wendys Gold £20.00
Yvonne Hay £16.00 & £22.50
Blewberry – nice proportion, early
Cedrics Prolific – Cedric Morris @ Bentons End / Beth Chatto. Quick.
elwesii var monostictus
Faringdon Double – Earliest flowering [Christmas] double
Green Hayes – Favourite
Hiemalis Group Donald Simms Early – Early Nov.
Hiemalis Group Rainbow Farm Early – early flowering
Hill Poe – Late flowering double
Lady Elphinstone- yellow, cheap, vigorous
Peardrop – Exquisite
Potters Prelude – vigorous and beautiful snowdrop that blooms in the fall. This year it started in mid-November and still has some fresh flowers today (1/6/13
reginae-olgae subsp. vernalis
Standing Tall – very impressive snowdrop. 12 height, flowers Chritsmas to end of January
Warei – Best developed spathe
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