I spotted the first snowdrop today. This may not seem like a big deal, but that little white flower (Galanthus nivalis) poking its head through the messy leaf litter at the edge of the drive where the snow has just melted, is a very welcome sight after one of the longest winters I can remember here in New England. We still have mounds and mounds of snow here at Juniper Hill that need to melt away. But that little snowdrop tells me that things are okay under that heavy blanket of white and Spring will arrive by and by.
Are you a true Galanthophile? If so, check out this article in The Guardian by Andy Byfield to learn about his ten favorite Galanthus out of the mind-boggling field of 2,500 named varieties. And, for even more on this captivating little flower, take a look at the post on snowdrops from the Notes from Juniper Hill blog archives. When I wrote that post in 2011, the “gold rush” for Galanthus bulbs had already begun with collectors paying over $500 for a single bulb at auction. This year, prices are edging their way ever closer to those seen when tulip-mania hit Europe in the 17th-century with a single snowdrop bulb selling for $2500!
You can see one of the largest collections of snowdrops on the east coast next month by visiting Hitch Lyman’s garden in Trumansburg, New York when it opens for The Garden Conservancy on April 4th. Hitch has over 400 varieties of Galanthus planted in a beautiful woodland setting.