Snowdrop city – Open day at Hitch Lyman’s garden

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Update [4/6/2008]: As my good friend Carol points out in the comments, Hitch will be speaking on snowdrops in Ithaca on the Cornell campus at the next meeting of the Adirondack Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society (ACNARGS) on April 19. Find details on the ACNARGS blog. (I am the ACNARGS newsletter editor/webmaster/publicist. You'd think I wouldn't need to be reminded. Thanks Carol.)

snowdrop

I had the great fortune to make it to the Open Day sponsored by the Garden Conservancy at Hitch Lyman's garden between Ithaca and Trumansburg today. Hitch is a world-reknowned Galanthus grower, cultivating 400+ varieties outside his 1848 Greek Revival house.

I promised Kathy Purdy, who has posted several times about Hitch over at Cold Climate Gardening, that I would shoot some pictures for her while she was down at the garden bloggers convention in Austin. Below is a quick edit, with a string of snowdrop pictures at the end. (I might be able to figure out some of the cultivar names. But I was running about 10 minutes behind the group shooting pictures most of the time.)

Open day at Hitch Lyman's

Hitch (right rear with the turquoise sweater) answered questions for visitors from near and far, experts and newbies. That's Alan Street in the black suit from Avon Bulbs in England, who as far as I can tell won the award for longest trip to this particular Open Day.

Open day at Hitch Lyman's

Hitch's 1848 Greek Revival house (sideview) is a gem, too.

Open day at Hitch Lyman's

The fountain and stone work provide simple structure in the side yard.

Open day at Hitch Lyman's

Out back, across a small pond, is a Greek Temple folly that echoes the architecture of the house.

Open day at Hitch Lyman's

According to a visitor I talked to beside the fireplace in the Temple, Hitch got the chandelier hanging from the ceiling in Venice.

Open day at Hitch Lyman's

I had to leave before the gourmet meal was served back in the house. But I grabbed a quick picture of the snowdrop flowers on the kitchen mantel.

From here on out, it's just snowdrops -- which I admittedly don't know much about. I've only got your garden variety Galanthus nivalis here and there. I like them good enough. And it's not hard to see how someone like Hitch could get passionate about them. The variety of leaf shapes and sizes, green markings, and colored collars and combinations thereof is pretty amazing.

Open day at Hitch Lyman's

Open day at Hitch Lyman's

Open day at Hitch Lyman's

Open day at Hitch Lyman's

Open day at Hitch Lyman's

Open day at Hitch Lyman's

Open day at Hitch Lyman's

Open day at Hitch Lyman's

Open day at Hitch Lyman's

Open day at Hitch Lyman's

Open day at Hitch Lyman's

Open day at Hitch Lyman's

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Pings on Snowdrop city – Open day at Hitch Lyman’s garden

April 7, 2008
April 12, 2008

Comments on Snowdrop city – Open day at Hitch Lyman’s garden

April 5, 2008

Les @ 3:23 pm #

Fantastic shots, but I don’t know which I like more, the Folly or the flowers.

April 6, 2008

Carol E. @ 5:26 am #

You can catch the names of these varieties and more by attending the Adirondack Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society’s April 19th meeting. Hitch Lyman is the speaker talking about what else? snowdrops in all their glory. His presentation begins at 1 p.m. in the Ken Post Lab at Cornell University, Ithaca New York. The space is not so easy to find to unless you’re very familiar with the Cornell campus so I suggest you visit here http://acnargs.blogspot.com for more information. If there’s not a map posted, then go to the Cornell website where you can download one. Nice photos Craig.

Brian @ 7:09 am #

wonderful to see these pics–would be great to have ids for each?

Marcia Meigs @ 8:00 am #

As a fairly new galanthophile of some 10 or so years, and as it is nearly impossible to find other galanthophiles in this country, with the notable exception of Hitch Lyman, I have only forty or so sorts. Always hoping to find trades or new ones to buy.
The extraordinary beauty of Hitch’s homeplace, his gracious hospitality, and his tour descriptions of an overwhelming galanthus collection, made for an experience never to be forgotten.

Icing on the cake was provided by meeting Alan Street, who as it turned out, was the introducer of my beloved ‘Blewberry Tart’ and another exceptional, lovely green tinted beauty Alan found in Normandy, named Alan’s Treat. Alan visited my little collection after the open house and kindly verified many ID’s for me.
As I am so weary of daily replacing brittle plastic labels which were heaved out of the garden and seem to be ripped out again, nightly, by varmints, I am making a serious effort to label all the important plants before I forget everything…laugh.
Short metal labels, a bit too short but far better than the 10 inch rose labels,
which my husband kindly trims down to 7 inches, can be had at Gempler’s very cheaply.
If anyone would care to see my galanthus, they are most welcome. Just let me know, please, by email.

Also, if someone can do it, as Hitch despises computers, it would be very nice, I think, if Craig’s great photos and the blogs could be copied off for Hitch. Then, perhaps, we might get ID’s for all those glalanthus photos.
Cheerio, Marcia

Kim @ 8:17 am #

Wow… amazing what differences you see even in those handfuls of pictures. And I must say that I love the snowdrops coming up out of the cyclamen foliage–very, very nice. I need to be more adventurous with combining my snowdrops with other spring foliage next year.

Cheryl @ 9:53 am #

Thanks for sharing Craig !
I’m planning to bring some of the Galanthus portraits I took yesterday for “hopeful identification” too.

What a bonus to meet and speak with Alan in the garden !

eliz @ 6:53 pm #

There must be some fragrance, no? With that many? I just have a few, so I have to get up close, but with hundreds I would expect it to be stronger.

April 7, 2008

Jane @ 5:15 pm #

Envy.

diane @ 5:32 pm #

I can’t reply to all your pictures, but just let me say , I wish I lived where you’ll do. Beautiful, as I bet so are your souls.

diane @ 5:38 pm #

the pictures of the mountains in the for bring back so many memories of my childhood. Thank you for bringing back pictures I only had in my childhood. I have made one them my background,again thank you! I hope you don’t mind.

April 8, 2008

Kathy @ 4:44 am #

eliz–mine have fragrance. I didn’t realize it until this year.

April 13, 2008

jodi @ 9:08 am #

Thank you so much for doing this for us, Craig! I’m quite fascinated with this entire place, but the snowdrops sent me into happy raptures on this foggy, soggy day.

April 18, 2008

Gotta Garden @ 8:29 pm #

This was delightful! Thank you for sharing. I had been curious what it must look like there…now I have some idea. I only discovered Temple Nursery mail order last year…thanks to a blogger…I look forward to adding a few new varieties each year.

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