|Galanthus nivalis in my garden 2011|
This is a question I’ve been asking myself a lot of late especially when considering buying new plants and bulbs.
I’ve been through many an expensive plant buying spree and following on from my terrestrial orchid phase and my Arisaema obsession it now appears that I’m in the market for a particular snowdrop. In fact, this is not a new “want”. I’ve actually been looking for this particular snowdrop cultivar for over two years now and despite a few near misses I am yet to actually purchase it. This is partly down to a possible novelty appeal and, of course, the main problem of price. As you may already know snowdrops are well known for their collectible status and often fetch extortionate amounts of money when pursued by hardcore galanthophiles. The case in point being illustrated beautifully with the recent sale of a single bulb of Galanthus ‘Green Tear’. This bulb sold on Ebay for the grand sum of £320. Could you justify this? I know that at this point in time I couldn’t. It seems like such a high price for such a small and fleeting plant. After all, for £320 I would want it to hold year round interest and have the ability to make me breakfast in bed!
The bulb I’m searching for is Galanthus ‘Grumpy’. It’s a lot less expensive than ‘Green Tear’ but can sell for anywhere between £30 - £70 for a single bulb. The unique markings of this snowdrop flower gave rise to its more than appropriate name and sparked my initial interest, albeit a rather novelty appeal as opposed to a serious interest. I’m waiting for this novelty to wear off but each time I see the flower my interest grows and once again I’m on the hunt. I just love the idea of having a clump of grumpy little snowdrops in a corner of my garden, something to cheer me up on a cold winter’s day.
The price still sparks the question – how much is too much? Such a sum of money could go a long way in the garden, helping to plant a herbaceous border for example, buy a large tree or even have potential to pay for a years worth of seed for the allotment.
For now, I guess I will just ponder for another year, unless of course someone out there has a bulb for me? Hmmm . . .