Louis Raymond experiments in his own gardens like

a mad scientist, searching out plants that most people have

never seen before & figuring out how to make them perform.- The Boston Globe

…Louis Raymond ensures that trees can grow in Brooklyn…

or just about any other place where concrete consumes

the dirt and skyscrapers shield the sunshine.- USA Today

 
 

NEW Trips to Take!

Myrtle's easy when the conditions are right.

 
 
 
 

NEW Plants to Try!

Louis tries to capture the exact words to describe the fleeting but deep pleasures to be found in these Summer-into-Autumn incredibles.

 
 
 
 

New Gardening to Do!

Allergic to bees? You can still have an exciting garden, full of flowers and color and wildlife.

 
 
 
 

Plant Profiles

Today in the Garden of a Lifetime: Woronow's Snowdrop

Snowdrops are at once surprising and routine: They appear suddenly, and so early in the new year that any sign of new life is a surprise. And yet, once you have snowdrops happily in your garden, there's no surprise that they will in fact return.

 

This snowdrop, Galanthus woronowii, added third, fourth, and fifth surprises: I planted it twice—and plentifully—over several years, but never saw anything the following springs. Fine, and on to other things. But this spring was the bulbs' siren song to emerge after years of below-ground contemplation.

 

Galanthus worronowii from the side 032918 915 

 

The group in the picture above is just one patch in one of a quartet of four-foot strips of Woronow's along the shadiest side of the wisteria-and-laburnum pergola. So, while its emergence was a surprise this spring, three years after the last planting, it wasn't a fluke: Scores of Woronow bulbs had all had the same idea. Welcome one and all.

 

Galanthus being galanthus, we can expect that Woronow's snowdrop will provide a reliable annual show for years to come—and one that increases dramatically in extent as well as density. This last is particularly intriguing, in that foliage of Galanthus woronowii is both wider and lighter green than that of other snowdrops. In mature colonies, it forms a very attractive groundcover, even though also an ephemeral one: Foliage of all forms of galanthus disappears in summer.  

 

Galanthus worronowii 032918 915

 

Is the foliage really lighter green and wider? Compare Woronow leaves, above, with that of almost any other galanthus, below. See how this other foliage is—at least by comparison—slender and blue-green?

 

Galanthus nivalis Blewbury Tart 032918 915

 

Oh yes: flowers! The above frilly, multi-petaled, mostly-green blooms are of the Blewbury Tart cultivar. (See the derivation of its name here.) Woronow flowers are traditionalists, with an outer and inner trio of sort-of-petal things, known as tepals, dangling tidying from a green cup-like receptacle.

 

Below, other traditional—but slower to emerge—blooms, of a cultivar that extends the snowdrop season further into spring, Baxendale's Late. Its foliage is also standard for snowdrops: narrow and sort-of-blue.

 

Galanthus plicatus Baxendales Late 032918 915

 

Still on my bucket list is one of the yellow Galanthus plicatus cultivars: Wendy's Gold or Bill Clarke, say. And now there's also a lutescent form of G. woronowii: Elizabeth Harrison. Any galanthus geek worth his pips should have one of each, to contrast how the yellow details in the fowers interact with the differences in foliage.

 

 

 

Here's how to grow these hardy and oh-so-early bulbs.

 

 
 
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