Snowdrops by Post

I love Jen from Muddy Boot Dreams, there I have said it. Pushed out of the closet! She has made (some of)  my dreams come true.

What did she do you ask?  This, I reply,

Oh, what can it be?



Look at them, how glorious  they are.  A couple of weeks ago I asked if anyone knew a place in Canada, (or the States) to purchase snowdrops “in the green“.  I do not want to keep harping on it, but in the green is the best way to transplant snowdrops or galanthus. They just settle in so much better as they do not like drying out, and that is what can happen when you buy them in the fall.

Imagine my surprise, when no one knew of any. All my British garden buddies were sending me commiserating e-mails how they couldn’t believe it, and North Americans (mostly) did not even know what in the green was.

But Jen came through for me, she dug up some snowdrops from her own garden and posted them to me, and Liisa has a plan as well, shhh, it is a secret.

A couple of people have suggested to me that maybe there is a potential business here, and I should ask all of you, who would be interested in purchasing snowdrops in the green.  If there is enough interest, maybe a larger bulb company would either import them from the UK, or grow them themselves.

So far, I have only heard of Hitch Lyman of The Temple Nursery who does it this way, and he does not ship to Canada.  If anyone knows of anyone else, I would love to hear about them. Or if you are interested, let me know, I will keep track of the number of us who are interested.


59 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    gardeningasylum said,

    Oh that’s so exciting you were able to get your in the greens! I’d certainly be interested in some if you were going to organize a snowdrop sale! Enjoy your new babies, Cyndy

  2. 3

    What a wonderful gift for your garden 🙂
    I’m not sure if we can buy snowdrops ‘in the green’ here in my part of Australia as I’m sure I’ve only ever seen them dried. I will have to investigate furthur!

  3. 5

    fairegarden said,

    Oh joy of joys, Deborah! That Jen is a princess, pure and simple. I would buy the Galanthus from a company that sold them in the green, but getting them like you did is even better. Of course the card is lovely as well. 🙂


  4. 7

    Joy said,

    OMG !! That is wonderful Deborah : ) Jen is a snowdrop angel : )
    I would be interested too if you get enough of us together girl !
    Love the card as well : )

  5. 9

    Edith Hope said,

    Dear D, How very, very exciting for you and what a wonderful surprise. You must have been thrilled to open a parcel to find your heart’s desire – snowdrops. It is absolutely correct that they they really are best divided ‘in the green’. In my experience, they clump up quite rapidly so can be planted individually. A little thin for the first year or two but then…..drifts as far as the eye can see.

    Clearly the restrictions on importing into Canada are many – it is the same attempting to bring things into Hungary where not only is one required to have seven or more copies of the export/import papers, each must be signed in BLUE not black ink. Once a whole parcel of mine was returned to England because the papers were signed in the wrong colour. Everything else was in order. So, do not give up the day job to become an importer just yet.

    • 10

      Edith, I am looking forward to the drifts as far as my eye can see!!!!
      It is frustrating that there are so many restrictions, could they not be packed in some kind of peat/perlite mix?
      There must be some way around it. I wonder how many years it would take for me to bulk up enough to sell?

  6. 11

    Barry said,

    Hi Deborah,
    Edith is correct in saying that there are many restrictions on the importing of live plants to Canada ( maybe not as many as to Hungary). The most obvious problem is that the plants are supposed to be free of soil, and this would be difficult in the case of Galanthus ‘in the green’. And even when they are soiless, the soil that they were growing in has to be tested.
    I think this is the reason why dormant bulbs are more commonly available. Perhaps there is a better chance of importing more unusual snowdrops in the Fall. Maybe even ‘Grumpy’ could be had this way!

    • 12

      Barry, something to ponder, hmmm. Dry shouldn’t be difficult as most bulbs are imported from Holland anyway. A lovely lady suggested I soak the gry galanthus bulbs first, before planting them, I may achieve greater success this way.
      (I will be grumpy, if I can’t find Grumpy, lol).

  7. 13

    Laurrie said,

    Deborah, I have a warm sunny spot right under a window where I want to plant a big patch of snowdrops, but was waiting until fall. I would love to find in-the-green plants! My searches have also found only U.K. suppliers. I just finished Our Life In Gardens (Eck & Winterrowd) where I first learned about in-the-green snowdrops… that’s how they’ve planted them at North Hill in VT. Now your post. Must have!

    • 14

      Laurrie, good and bad to know you are running into the same problem. Do you think that a big bulb company (or maybe not so big) would be interested in growing them if they thought there was a market for them?

  8. 15

    Diana said,

    Lovely, simply lovely! How thoughtful and generous of Jen and such excitement for you.

  9. 17

    Wow, what a wonderful present! I’m very interested to watch these grow, compared to those planted at the bulb stage. If they were readily available I would certainly look at buying some. How very thoughtful of Jen!

    • 18

      Rebecca, I should put on my scientist hat and do a comparision. I love stuff like that. I did not mention that the package went astray in the mail. We paid for a 2 day delivery, and it took a week before I got them. Darn that Canada Post!

  10. 19

    Deborah, after all the hassle with the mail system, it is rather nice to know that the poor things finally got there. And they so look slightly better than I envisioned them, too bad about the yellow tops.

    I truly think that you are onto something, a real true, Canadian supplier of “in the green” snowdrops. If you find doubles, and rare ones to grow, can you just imagine the fun?

    I hope that they double, and triple, and quadruple with amazing speed. Can’t wait to see that meadow you have envisioned.

    Jen ~ Muddy Boot Dreams

    • 20

      Jen, my snowdrop angel, thank you, thank you, I bow to your generosity. I am hoping they multiply speedily as well.
      It would be a lot of fun to be a supplier (I think), finding them is the more difficult part.

  11. 21

    Ceara said,

    What an awesome gift!

    The restrictions on plant shipping is crazy these days. Just think, over 100 years ago plant hunters went far and wide and were able to freely ship plants. Now it’s all red tape.

  12. 23

    Wonderful Deborah! How sweet of Jen to share them with you. Can’t wait to see them all settled into your garden next spring!

  13. 25

    What a good friend to send you all those snowdrops. The little I know of exporting plants suggests that a Canadian supplier is the best answer. I wish you luck.

  14. 27

    Melissa said,

    I am so envious! But now you have a good start. I think shipping plants is expensive, even here in the States, and trying to ship something that is “time sensitive” like snowdrops may be more than most commercial mail-order nurseries want to deal with. I used to be a frequenter of a site called GardenWeb where members would ship each other various plants when they had a surplus but I never saw anyone asking for snowdrops. Anyway, congrats and Jen’s halo is showing!

    • 28

      Melissa, I am wondering how firms send plants through the mail, it must be similar. It would have to be a two or three day delivery at the most. In England, they are delivered the next day, yay Royal Mail.

  15. 29

    miss m said,

    Oh yay ! You must be relieved and delighted to got there ! How utterly fabulous of Jen to share. Can’t wait to see them in the garden !

  16. 31

    Count me in! I would love to have some for my garden. Lucky you!

  17. 33

    Jean said,

    Three cheers for Jen! I am in the middle of writing this paper about Blotanical as a virtual community, and this is such a good example of the way members of this community come through for one another. -Jean

  18. 35

    Wendy said,

    how nice!

    Good for you for asking others. My master gardener class speaker just the other night was talking about the “industry” and about how as gardeners, we need to keep asking for things we want – and the “industry will respond”. 🙂

  19. 37

    Barbara H. said,

    Hmmmm – I’m beginning to believe that blogging brings out the best in people. What a glorious gift. A true connection. Thanks for sharing – to both you and Jen.

  20. 39

    SummerHouseArt said,

    What a wonderful surprise for you! And what a perfectly wonderful thing it was for Jen to do too. Imagine snowdrops in the post.

    • 40

      They are sent by post all the time in the UK. As well as crocus, bluebells, winter aconites, they best way to get them for your garden. I do not know why we don’t do that here!

  21. 41

    Liisa said,

    What a wonderful gift, and how sweet of Jen to send them your way. I enjoy getting cuttings or bulbs from friends as it is wonderful to have a “piece” of a friend’s garden. The garden becomes a bit of a patchwork quilt, and reminds us of those who contributed to its beauty. To give you an update on Project Snowdrop… I am still awaiting arrival of our catalogs. It has been over a week since I mailed the request, so I may call today to inquire as to when I should be expecting them. I hope you are having a wonderful week, and I will keep you posted! 🙂

    • 42

      Liisa, thanks for the update on Project Snowdrop. I am looking forward to drooling over the catalogue, I just know that there will be many, many bulbs I will have lust in my heart for.

  22. 43

    Sylvia (England) said,

    Deborah, I am so happy that you have your snowdrops. That is so kind of Jen (she writes lovely posts as well). I feel as happy for you, as if I had received them myself! Enjoy putting them into the garden. Thank you Jen.

    Best wishes Sylvia (England)

  23. 45

    kimberly said,

    Lucky girl to have such a great friend to share her snowdrops! The best gift in the world is a plant from one’s own garden.

  24. 47

    commonweeder said,

    What a gift. And a gift to me. I didn’t know that snowdrops were best planted in the green. I have been bemoaning the fact that my snow drops are far from the house and resolving to plants some bulbs out front in the fall. Now I will dig my snowdrops and transplant them now. Or at least once I can find them under the snow. Surely it won’t be long now.

    • 48

      I wonder is that is why the bulb companies have never bothered to sell them “in the green”, gardeners just do not know about it. So there is not the demand for them. When I worked at a garden centre, every year we would have people coming in to buy spring bulbs for their garden, especially “the ones that make the lawns blue”. If I had pots of flowering scills, I could have made a fortune. Now all I need is about a million bulbs, a good courier company and a PR firm.

  25. 49

    Rosie said,

    I’m so glad Deborah that you’ve got some snowdrops at last. It must have been so exciting to get that big box through the post – and what a big box of them too!

    What a wonderful jesture in Jen sending you some from her garden – they’ll be treasured all the more I’m sure.

  26. 51

    Anna said,

    Oh wonderful news Deborah – I am so pleased for you. Aren’t Blotanical folk the best! Further to our email correspondence I have passed on your address and hopefully that will lead to further additions to your snowdrop colony 🙂

  27. 53

    Kathleen said,

    That is so fantastic and generous of Jen. Kudos to her for making your day and that beautiful card too! I think you should start the business ~ you just need tons and tons of $$, space and time. 🙂 But it could all be worth it! So glad you got your snowdrops in the green. Congrats on the hellebore blooms too. They are very pretty. I hope the snow we have forecasted, comes and goes as fast as yours.

  28. 55

    what a fabulous thing to have come in the mail… I’m very jealous! 🙂

  29. 57

    Dea Fischer said,

    Definitely yes, I would buy snowdrops in the green. They are the only thing I truly miss from living in the UK, and I’ve tried and tried to get some going here in Canada without any success so far. If I have to buy them every year so I can have some, then so be it!

    • 58

      Dea, it is very hard to get them growing from dry bulbs. As you know, you need a large number to have a good show. I have some that came from my grandmothers garden and now Jen has sent me some. Hopefully, one day I will have a river of them. Where in Canada do you live?

  30. 59

    Sandria Leveille said,

    I am also trying to acquire Snowdrops of the unusual Varities! Even if our Garden Centers or Nurseries carried the rare bulbs in Fall, we could soak them before planting. How are the ones Jen sent doing? Sandria

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