Quote of the Month

There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.

~Mirabel Osler

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Snowdrop Stories

Having just bought 2 small pots of snowdrops – the first I’ve ever seen in our area – I was fascinated to read the following article on the Telegraph website -
Why do devotees of snowdrops pay hundreds of pounds for a single bulb?
If snowdrops flowered in midsummer we would scarcely notice them – those plain white petals hanging demurely on spindly stems that never reach more than a few inches above the ground.
We treasure them because they appear at the coldest, most dispiriting time of year, when showier plants dare not strut their stuff.
So how much do we treasure them? Not enough, surely, to fork out several hundred pounds for a single specimen. Yet galanthophiles – snowdrop obsessives – are so keen to get their hands on rare varieties that bidding on a bulb of Galanthus woronowii on eBay has reached £369, with a day left to bid.
Even if it stops there it will be a record figure; but only just.
Last month a collector forked out £360 for a bulb of Green Tear, a snowdrop variety with a distinct greenish tinge.
The snowdrop bidding wars are, so far, fairly small beer. The most excessive bout of horticultural insanity was the “tulipomania” of the 17th century that principally gripped Holland. Tulips had only recently been introduced into Europe and enthusiasts would pay the equivalent of six-figure sums for bulbs of the rarest and most colourful varieties. When tulip bonds began to be traded instead of bulbs, an early form of toxic debt was created and many speculators went bankrupt.

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