I finally got a cell phone last month. I have been dragging my feet for several years now and my lack on personal communication devices has been a family joke for a least a decade. The final straw for me came at an optometry conference at the Javits Center in Manhattan last year. I went to the lower level to the hallway with dozens of pay phones and found it was empty; not a phone in sight. Everywhere you look these days, phone booths are disappearing. Talk abound endangered species. So I broke down and got a brand new iPhone 4s. It has so many bells and whistles it will take a me years to figure out what the thing can do.
With my arrested developemnt on the communication technology front, it is not surprising that I still like to write an old fashioned letter, but even more, I love receiving them. So you can imagine how excited I became when my first Temple Nursery catalogue arrived in the mail last year. The owner, Hitch Lyman, addresses each catalogue personally in a very elegant longhand script. This is the 16th listing of Galanthus from the Temple Nursery which specializes in solely in snowdrops. The five-page booklet, with a lovely detail of a painting of Galanthus nivalis 'Blewbury Tart' by Gerald Simcoe on its cover, lists about 30 different cultivars of snowdrops priced from 5 G. nivalis for $15 to a single G. nivalis cultivar called 'Walrus' for $50. Mr. Lyman describes 'Walrus' as follows: "I am able to offer again 'one of the great eccentrics of the snowdrop world.' Three long, thin outer segments like tusks; inners regular and splayed. A short plant, with the whole flower washed green. Oliver Wyatt's find."
It is probably too late to order snowdrops for this season because Mr. Lyman divides his clumps after they are done flowering and sends them Priority Mail to your door in early April. You'll recognize his handwriting when they arrive. Each plant is labeled and wrapped in a moist paper towel with instructions to plant them immediately.
If you are a snowdrop connoisseur of if you long for the days of small nurseries owned by passionate plantsmen send $4 to Temple Nursery, Box 591, Trumansburg, NY 14886 for the 2013 listing of Galanthus.