Friday, February 12th, 2010...8:10 am

Galanthus and Other Winter Plants To Buy From Carolyn Walker’s Shade Garden

More Galanthus and other winter interest plants that you can buy from Carolyn Walker’s Shade Garden

Potter’s Prelude

Charles Cresson’s Heirloom Snowdrop Collection

New G. ‘Atkinsii’: In Snowdrops, Matt Bishop says that ‘Atkinsii’ has “elegant elongated flowers that suggest the drop-pearl earrings of Elizabeth I”—if that description doesn’t portray a true English classic, I don’t know what does. It is a large-flowered cultivar (the largest I am offering) valued for its early bloom and particularly sweet fragrance. Selected in the 1860s by James Atkins of Gloucestershire, Charles got his bulbs from the famous Swarthmore bulb authority Mrs. Wister. She bought her bulbs in the 1960s from the Dutch bulb nursery, Van Tubergen, renowned for their well documented bulb collections. The authenticity of Charles’s stock has since been reconfirmed by Michael Hoog, the grandson of Van Tubergen’s founder. Charles’s plants have the appearance and documented lineage of true ‘Atkinsii’, a snowdrop almost impossible to obtain today outside of England. $25 (1 plant per pot).

G. elwesii var. monostictus ‘Potter’s Prelude’: This is a free-flowering and vigorous snowdrop with wide recurving blue-green leaves and large flowers similar to the best of the species except that it blooms from November to January. It was selected by Jack Potter in the 1960s, former gardener to Mrs. Wister and Curator of the Scott Arboretum. In 2004, Charles registered it with the KAVB (the international registration authority for bulb cultivars) in the Netherlands. Matt Bishop declared ‘Potter’s Prelude’ the best of its type and will include it in the revised edition of Snowdrops. I am honored to be the only source for this cultivar. $40 (1 plant per pot) (photo above).

New G. ‘Magnet’: The descriptions of this snowdrop are a joy to read, and I can see why after having it in my garden. The stem (or pedicel) of the substantial flower is long and thin causing it to sway in the slightest breeze and setting ‘Magnet’ apart from all other snowdrops (no magnifying glass needed). Selected in the 1880s, it may have been named ‘Magnet’ after the child’s fishing game with magnets and sticks, we can’t be sure. I do know that Matt Bishop says it defines garden-worthiness and is a mainstay of snowdrop collections throughout the world. $25 (1 plant per pot).

Other Winter Interest Plants

Arum italicum ‘Tiny Tot’ (Italian Arum), 6”, a rare miniature Italian arum with very distinct and extensive silver markings covering the narrow, arrow-shaped bright green leaves from early fall through late spring (yes, it’s gorgeous all winter!), $15 (1 plant per pot)(photo below).

Crocus tommasinianus (Snow Crocus), very early-blooming silvery purple flowers with a white heart, the best crocus for naturalizing in the Delaware Valley, rodent resistant, $12 (5 plants per pot)(photo below).

Cyclamen coum ‘Something Magic’ (Hardy Cyclamen), magical leaves with a dark green Christmas tree-shaped center surrounded by a wide silver margin, large rose flowers—it really looks like the photo below, $18 (2 qt. pots).

Helleborus niger ‘Josef’ (Helleborus Gold Collection Christmas Rose), 12”, one of the earliest to flower of my Christmas roses, ‘Josef’ sends up its white, outward-facing blooms in November and blooms on and on, last year into May; large plants in full bloom now, $20 (gallon pots)(photo below).

Arum ‘Tiny Tot’ in October ‘Tiny Tot’ in February

Crocus tommasinianus/Snow Crocus

Galanthus elwesii

Early January bloom, unique green markings, naturalizes

Galanthus nivalis

Bears many flowers, spreads rapidly

Galanthus nivalis ‘Flore Pleno’

Double flowers

Galanthus nivalis ‘Viridi-apice

Green markings on outer petals, substantial plants, my favorite

Galanthus ‘S. Arnott’

Heart-shaped green marking, rounded petals

Galanthus ‘White Dream’

Late-blooming, rare

Galanthus woronowii

Late-blooming, shiny green leaves, rare species

Galanthus ‘Atkinsii’

Largest flowers, elegant shape and habit, early-blooming

Galanthus ‘Potter’s Prelude’

Blooms in early November

Galanthus ‘Magnet’

Flowers gracefully suspended on long delicate stems

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