Where to Buy Snowdrops

snowdrop sign of Spring by algo

TheGardenLady received this question from Vlad.

I would love to buy some snowdrops for my girlfriend but I could not find them  anywhere. We are from Europe and we used to enjoy the snowdrops every spring

Galanthus or Snowdrops seem to be much more popular in Europe than in the U.S. It is sad that so few Americans have the pleasure of this charming plant growing in their garden to welcome spring.

I have to assume that this writer is from Europe but presently living in the US and is looking to buy Galanthus or snowdrops in the US. I am also assuming that the writer wishes to purchase either the plants or the bulbs to give to his girlfriend. (TheGardenLady does not know the names of any florists in the US that sells snowdrops as cut flowers though some of the more expensive florists might be willing to order them from Holland for a customer.)

I recommend Carolyn’s Shade Garden for those who want Galanthus plants. If you contact Carolyn please tell her that TheGardenLady recommended her.  Read this.

Continue reading “Where to Buy Snowdrops”

Where to Buy Galanthus Nivalis (SnowDrops)

Snowdrops – Galanthus nivalis by Süleyman

TheGardenLady received this question from Charlene.

Do you happen to have any blooming or budding Galanthus Nivalis that you could sell me? I live in California.  If not, any suggestions?

Galanthus Nivalis or the Common SnowDrops is a charming flower in gardens that have winters. They need the coldness of winter to produce flowers. This earliest blooming flower is not quite in bloom or budding in the East Coast of the United States because we have been blanketed with snow and there is more snow predicted. But towards the end of winter, the beginning of spring, they will poke through.

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Free Tickets for Botanical Gardens and Arboretums from Bank of America

Davidia involucrata by Jura Wanderer

When TheGardenLady learns of free tickets to gardens, she will share them with her readers. And she hopes that if TheGardenLady readers learn about free or reduced rate tickets to gardens, they will share this information with TheGardenLady blog.

The newest list is thanks to Bank of America.  See here.  Though it is ostensibly for museums, and most of the tickets are for museums, some of the places listed are for botanical gardens or arboretums. TheGardenLady also loves to visit museums, so I hope her readers do, too, and will take advantage of these wonderful offers.

Dorion by Bruce Beasley by Kaldoon

In Hamilton, NJ one of the best places to visit both for the sculpture and for the grounds is Grounds for Sculpture. This Sculpture Park has 35 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds with interesting trees and shrubs as well as some flowering vines, perennials and annuals. There are two indoor museums, 250 outdoor pieces of sculpture, two shops, two restaurants- one modest priced and one called Rats which is one of the best restaurants in NJ and certainly one of the most beautiful restaurants in the world. I call Grounds for Sculpture the Garden of Eden; though the landscaper, Brian Carey, insists it is more like an arboretum. Take advantage of these free tickets. Plan on spending an entire day on the Grounds- you really need that much time. Then let the GardenLady know if you agree- should it be called the Garden of Eden or maybe Paradise?

Winterthur ~ A Country Estate by Diana827

In Deleware , you can get tickets to Winterthur and visit both the museum and the grounds which has one of the best outdoor plantings of Galanthus (snopdrops) and other minor spring bulbs. And if you are lucky, you might get there during the spring when the Handkerchief or Dove tree- Davidia involucrata is in bloom. This Handkerchief tree is located near the main buildings. It is one of the most unusual flowering trees TheGardenLady has ever seen. The flowers look like handkerchiefs fluttering in the breeze. I have seen more of these trees in European gardens than in American gardens; it is fairly difficult to find these trees in many nurseries in this country. It grows in zones 6 through 8. It likes a protected site that has rich, high organic matter in moist, well drained soil, a site that has shade in the afternoon. I understand it takes 15 years to bloom.  See here.

Cheekwood Botanical Gardens by rbglasson

In Nashville, Tennesee you can visit the Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art. And then take in some Grand ole Opry- sorry I couldn’t find free tickets for that.

The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens by Fritz Liess

In Palm Desert, California you can visit the Living Desert which is a zoo and a botanical garden.

I didn’t check out every state to see where they are giving the free tickets. I will let my readers choose where they want to go. Have fun. And again, Thank You Bank of America.

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).

Continue reading “Galanthus and Other Winter Plants To Buy From Carolyn Walker’s Shade Garden”

More On Galanthus To Buy From Carolyn Walker’s Shade Garden

More on Galanthus that you can buy from Carolyn Walker’s Shade Garden

Galanthus ‘Potter’s

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

Continue reading “More On Galanthus To Buy From Carolyn Walker’s Shade Garden”

Where You Can See Snowdrops (Galanthus)

snowdrops, ghiocei - Galanthus by john stanbridge

TheGardenLady received this question from Charlotte.

Can you tell me where you can see snowdrops (galanthus) in the US – I cannot seem to find any listings except yours for Winterthur – if you can help, I’d be really grateful.

Check out the public Botanical gardens in your area to see if they have spring flowering bulb gardens and call them to see if they grow Galanthus-Snowdrops. Gardens that have spring show gardens should have Galanthus. Gardens such as the Denver Botanic Gardens (see here)  or the New York Botanical Garden may have them growing among their spring bulbs. Or contact the Missouri Botanical Gardens to see if they can recommend a garden with Galanthus. If you call any of the Botanical Gardens you should be able to ask for a list of the plants they exhibit.

Snowdrops in the perennial garden at the NY Botanical Garden - First spring flowers by annabelleny

Join the American Horticultural Society and contact them to take tours of gardens or learn of spring gardens you can visit to see Galanthus. Or contact the Horticultural Society in your area. The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, for example, gives great tours of gardens that you could take to see spring bulb gardens.  See here.

Join the Garden Conservancy and visit gardens during their open gardens days. Private gardens are often open to the public on these days. One of the gardens that often shows during open garden days is David Culp’s private garden. Culp, a famous breeder of Helleborus, loves Galanthus and has them growing in his delightful garden in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.

Galanthus – Snowdrops

Galanthus ‘S.Arnott’

Still looking forward to spring? Besides daffodils and crocuses there is another bulb that blooms early and is a harbinger of spring. It is a bulb native to Europe and Turkey that has a common name of Fair Maid of February because that is when many of the species bloom. In the US they are more commonly known as snowdrops.

Snowdrops are in the Galanthus family, a small family of about 20 species. Galanthus nivalis is the best-known and most widespread representative of this genus. And Galanthus nivalis S. Arnott seems to be the finest, sweetly honey scented, long lasting variety. Galanthus may be celebrated as a sign of spring, but an area blanketed with the flowers can look like there is still a field of snow in places where they are native or have been naturalised.

Galanthus ‘S.Arnott’ enjoying the sunshine

Because this flower is so beloved, in 2007 Scotland held its first Snowdrop Festival. In the UK and Ireland there are many gardens that open early just to showcase their snowdrops. Gardens such as: Brandy Mount, New Alresford, Hampshire, England which has the (NCCPG) National Plant Collection of Snowdrops or Primrose Hill, Lucan, County Dublin, Ireland or Cambo Estate, Fife, and Finlaystone, Renfrewshire both in Scotland.  In the US, this GardenLady’s favorite garden to see Galanthus in bloom with other early spring bulbs, is Winterthur in Deleware.

Galanthus grow in zones 3 through 9 though they do better in the cooler, Northern climates. Plant bulbs in early fall 2 to 4 inches apart and covered with 2 to 3inches of soil. All snowdrops prefer cool, moist conditions in the spring and a surprisingly dry summer dormancy in the shade which makes them good to plant under deciduous trees. Do NOT fertilize. The bulbs can be left undisturbed for years. But when you want to divide them, dig and divide soon after flowering and replant IMMEDIATELY so roots do not dry out. If you want you can plant seedlings which take 3 to 4 years to flower.

A great place to buy Galanthus bulbs is from Brent and Becky’s bulbs. The reason that this is a great place is that Brent and Becky’s dig and ship bulbs earlier than most places so that you know the bulbs are freshly dug allowing you to plant the bulbs really early in the fall to give them a good head start.

If you want to order Galanthus plants, TheGardenLady was told that they don’t ship well and there are only 2 places in the US to buy Galanthus in the plant stage. One place to buy the plants is from Carolyn’s Shade Garden at 325 S.  Roberts Rd in Bryn Mawr, PA 19010. But you have to go to her garden to pick up the plants. (TheGardenLady will soon be writing about Carolyn and her wonderful plants.)

Seeds seem to be trickier to buy. Most seed distributors seem to be in the UK.