Galanthomania in the US

Jane McGary
Sat, 25 Feb 2012 11:47:56 PST
Jim Waddick asked about Galanthus fancy in the USA. There has been an 
interest in these plants in the Pacific Northwest (US and Canada) for 
some years, and I know of at least half a dozen burgeoning 
collections. I'm mostly interested in growing species bulbs, so I 
haven't acquired many cultivars except for hunting out those 
described as "vigorous increasers," which make such a pretty picture 
in the garden in January and February.

To answer Jim's questionnaire:
>         What do PBS members (Especially those in
>the US)  think of this whole thing?

I think this is a niche that appeals to "completists" who have a 
psychological urge to acquire as many of one category of objects as 
possible. I understand this, because I have an obsession with 
Fritillaria and, to a lesser extent, Crocus. (Crocus is coming back 
at me now that I have a rodent-proof place to grow them.) It is 
pretty easy to grow hundreds of snowdrop varieties in a garden of 
modest size, like one I visited a couple of weeks ago in Portland. It 
is not so easy to accommodate a collection of Arts & Crafts Movement 
jardinieres, I can tell you.

>         Do any of you buy $20, $50 Galanthus bulbs?

I have bought $20 ones from Temple Nursery, but I'd never buy a $50 
one, not even G. platyphyllus.

>         Do you think you might be a Galanthophile ?

No. Just a geophytophile.

>         Is the whole thing totally a fad;
>overblown and doomed to obscurity in the US?

I think it will be a fading enthusiasn for some people who are drawn 
to it by the Anglophilia prevalent among American gardeners, but an 
obscure yet lasting hobby for a few.

>         What's the most you have ever paid for a single Galanthus bulb?

About $25, for a true species.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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