Not Your Ordinary Snowdrops

– Posted in: Snowdrops

Snowdrop from Hitch Lyman's Temple Nursery

Temple Nursery snowdrop, courtesy Craig Cramer

There are snowdrops, and then there are snowdrops. I, for the most part, have been content with the Galanthus nivalis (pictured below) I was given many years ago, which have multiplied greatly from my division and their own efforts at self-propagation. Others become obsessed with differences in pedicels, spathes, and inner and outer petals. We call them galanthophiles. Hitch Lyman, owner of the Temple Nursery, is one of the foremost galanthophiles in the United States.
Snowdrops in the Secret Garden

These snowdrops bloomed in the Secret Garden in April 2006. Photo by Rundy Purdy

He has over 400 hundred snowdrop varieties growing in his garden, which will be open to the public this Saturday, April 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., as part of the Garden Conservancy’s Open Day program ($5 entry fee). I plan to be there, and I hope you can join me.
Update from Garden Conservancy: Our Garden Host, Hitch Lyman in Trumansburg, NY has asked us to send a special message regarding the expected snow that may be blanketing his garden on Saturday. The garden will remain open to visitors, but if you find you cannot make it, visitors are welcome to come on Saturday, April 9 as well, during the same hours, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit our website for more details on this Open Day.

Snowdrop Resources

Magazines You Might Still Have

Martha Stewart Living February 2000
Victoria (defunct) February 2002
The Gardener (defunct) February 2002
Horticulture February 2003

Snowdrop Photo Galleries

Judy’s Snowdrops
Snowdrop Info

More About Hitch Lyman and The Temple Nursery

Ellis Hollow’s Visit for the 2008 Open Garden
NY Times Article About Hitch Lyman and his Temple Nursery

John Grimshaw, Who Wrote The Book

Snowdrops in Sun
Snowdrops For the Next Edition

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings March 29, 2011, 1:32 pm

Oh, if only I could, I say, as I wring my hands. To see so many snowdrops in one place, paradise!~~Dee

VW March 29, 2011, 12:09 pm

Getting a chuckle out of the rock garden (3 died) quote that flashed by as I scrolled down here . . . I have a few snowdrops and one is even blooming now! Your river of snowdrops is wonderful. Enjoy your time at the open garden.

Leon Ginenthal March 29, 2011, 8:44 am

Looking forward to seeing Hitch’s snowdrops, as well as seeing you.

Kathy Purdy March 29, 2011, 9:00 am

I haven’t figured out exactly when I will show up, as I am traveling with a friend and we are making a couple of other stops. But I hope I see you there.

Cyndy March 29, 2011, 8:12 am

That is so tempting, but the 9 hour round trip just isn’t in the schedule right now – hope you might post some highlights!

Kathy Purdy March 29, 2011, 8:28 am

I wrote this little piece mostly for the benefit of upstate NY gardeners, though I heard the last time Hitch had an Open Garden for snowdrops, someone came all the way from England to be there.

Carolyn @ Carolyn's Shade Gardens March 29, 2011, 8:08 am

Kathy, thank you for linking to my galanthophile article. I asked my husband if he wanted to drive 4 1/2 hours to Trumansburg, NY, to look at 400 varieties of snowdrops, and he said: “Some people would think that was fun.” Wish I could be there because I am one of those people. Carolyn

Kathy Purdy March 29, 2011, 8:27 am

Carolyn, I totally understand both your and your husband’s view! The last time Hitch had his garden open for snowdrops was 2008, and I was out of town for that one.

Layanee March 29, 2011, 8:02 am

Oh, I love the snowdrops and have, as you do, only the one species. I am thinking of branching out. I want drifts, rivers, patches, and swathes of snowdrops. May I live so long!

Gail March 29, 2011, 6:57 am

It sounds wonderful! I’ve never tried to grow them~thinking it is too hot and dry but, I might have to give in a little and try a few! Any recommendations? gail

Kathy Purdy March 29, 2011, 8:23 am

Galanthus elwesii is better for drier spots, and it is commonly available. That would be your best bet. But Carolyn of Carolyn’s Shade Garden really knows much more than I do. The galanthophile link in my post was to one of hers on snowdrops.

Frances March 29, 2011, 5:42 am

How wonderful that sounds, Kathy! I am happy with any type of snowdrop at all, in any number. Seeing your large patch brings a smile. Enjoy the event and thanks for the conservancy link. I will see if there is anything near me that might be open this year. 🙂

Donna March 28, 2011, 10:59 pm

Kathy, this sounds like fun and an interesting tour. I checked out the link. Three hours drive from the Falls, really would love to come.