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Author Topic: G. 'Rosemary Burnham'  (Read 6342 times)

johnw

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G. 'Rosemary Burnham'
« on: February 19, 2008, 03:17:58 AM »
Tonight I learned with sadness that Rosemary Burnham of British Columbia passed away a few days ago.  Thanks to her keen eye her green elwesii in an abandoned garden 45 years ago this plant was rescued.

The last issue of the AGCBC Bulletin (Winter 2008) featured a brief article by Pam Frost on the history of this snowdrop's discovery and the cover had a charming photo of it as well.

I first got this snowdrop in the late 1980's and slowly (!) bulked it up.  It never was very difficult to grow here.  I sent it far and wide to a few nurseries in the Scotland and England - Foxgrove in 1997 after meeting Louise at the Feb RHS and a memorable buying spree (!)  - and to quite a number of keen plantsmen throughout the UK, the USA and Germany who I knew would pass it around. Some found it difficult to get  going and it was necessary to send seconds. Strange I thought until last weekend when I discovered only 2 bulbs remained in my pots! Again the dreaded NBF I presume which appeared here just a few years ago.

Just before the snopwdrop book came out I read an article by John Grimshaw proposing the name Francesca (actually it was Francisca) Darts after the "discoverer".  I immediately wrote to John and told of a possible error.  I then phoned Rosemary and she confirmed that it was indeed she who had spotted the green Galanthus.  Happily John must have registered the Galanthus as Rosemary Burnham. A few corrections of the RB account may be made in the second edition of the book.

If it is permissable (your thoughts please) I could scan the article in the AGCBC and send it to you.  If this is kosher let me know the preferred size.

john w



John in coastal Nova Scotia

Paddy Tobin

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Re: G. 'Rosemary Burnham'
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2008, 10:13:15 AM »
John,

It would be very interesting to read the article. I have no doubt that the forum members would be delighted to have further background information both on this excellent snowdrop and on the lady herself.

Looking forward to it.

Paddy
Paddy Tobin, Waterford, Ireland

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Anthony Darby

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Re: G. 'Rosemary Burnham'
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2008, 10:48:58 AM »
I am in agreement. It is nice to think that her snowdrop, which is quite special, has reached more fame in the last month due to the internet. I for one will endeavour to purchase a bulb in due course. When a plant has a well documented history it raises it much higher in my estimation.
Anthony Darby, Auckland, New Zealand.
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Maggi Young

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Re: G. 'Rosemary Burnham'
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2008, 11:20:13 AM »
Sad indeed to learn of the passing of this plantswoman. We are indebted to you, john, for letting us know.
 I think it would be good to have the article for the Forum...I presume the AGCBC would not object?
The Forum system limits any upload to less than 300kb so that gives you a guide..... it is up to you whether you provide the scan as pages as jpg or even pdf if that is available to you.
Thank you!
 M
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KentGardener

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Re: G. 'Rosemary Burnham'
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2008, 06:38:56 PM »
Rob

give that 'search' facility, I mentioned before, a try.

From memory, I know that at least 4 different pictures of this wonderful snowdrop have been posted on SRGC in the last 2 months.

Here's one I posted from Colesbourne:
http://www.srgc.org.uk/smf/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=1260.0;attach=40826;image

regards

John
« Last Edit: February 19, 2008, 06:53:21 PM by KentGardener »
John

John passed away in 2017 - his posts remain here in tribute to his friendship and contribution to the forum.

johnw

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Re: G. 'Rosemary Burnham'
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2008, 06:56:50 PM »
The consensus seem to be to go ahead with attaching the 'Rosemary Burnham' article.

Attached is the cover of the AGCBC Winter 2008 Journal along with the article. Let's see how it goes, I may have to re-scan the article, it looks fairly small before reduction.

A snowdrop has broken through ground close to the house. Amazing what low temperatures they can take even when emerged.

It is a glorious spring day here at +9C (-11c predicted for this Friday night!) and brilliant warm sunshine, this after a wild night of nearly 100mm of rain and winds of 100km/hr.

johnw

45765-0

45769-1
« Last Edit: February 19, 2008, 07:55:52 PM by Maggi Young »
John in coastal Nova Scotia

KentGardener

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Re: G. 'Rosemary Burnham'
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2008, 07:04:02 PM »
Thanks John

a great article - great to know the history of such a nice plant (I am sure Maggi will do any adjusting needed to the scans).

(I am once again saddened to read of the theft of plants from peoples gardens!)

best wishes

John
« Last Edit: February 19, 2008, 07:08:28 PM by KentGardener »
John

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johnw

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Re: G. 'Rosemary Burnham'
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2008, 07:14:47 PM »
John (kentgardener)     - it would be interesting to know if Don Armstrong did indeed name this one.  I hope he did as it was he who gave me the bulb and asked me to get it around to people.  Don was very generous and had a remarkable collection of plants and Galanthus, many of the latter he received from another notable west coast plantswoman, Thelma Chapman before she died.  Moral of the story, get those rarities about to friends.

I presumed John Grimshaw had registered it, as mentioned before, it almost became Francesca Darts. How could we find out from the RHS? Perhaps I'll send them a query.

I relayed the article to John.

johnw
John in coastal Nova Scotia

emma T

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Re: G. 'Rosemary Burnham'
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2008, 07:28:11 PM »
John Grimshaw has it labled as Rosemary Burnham ,i saw it at Colesborne House a couple of weeks ago .Its at the top of my wanted list.Its seems very happy at Colesborne ,John Grimshaw is taking good care of it.
Emma Thick Glasshouse horticulturalist And Galanthophile, keeper of 2 snowdrop crushing French bulldogs. I have small hands , makes my snowdrops look big :D

Anthony Darby

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Re: G. 'Rosemary Burnham'
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2008, 07:39:39 PM »
I'm afraid if I try and read the article I would be off school for the rest of the week with a crick in the neck. :-\
Anthony Darby, Auckland, New Zealand.
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KentGardener

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Re: G. 'Rosemary Burnham'
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2008, 07:40:52 PM »
it was he who gave me the bulb and asked me to get it around to people


As my nan always told me "the best way to keep a plant is to give it away"


John
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emma T

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Re: G. 'Rosemary Burnham'
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2008, 07:51:54 PM »
i would be willing to give one a good home  ;D
Emma Thick Glasshouse horticulturalist And Galanthophile, keeper of 2 snowdrop crushing French bulldogs. I have small hands , makes my snowdrops look big :D

Maggi Young

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Re: G. 'Rosemary Burnham'
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2008, 07:58:45 PM »
Anthony, fear not, I have "tweaked" the article, enlarged it a little and rotated it, and the cover, so now you may read with impunity! Slightly blurred, but not too much!
 
John, many thanks for this!
 m
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!


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Anthony Darby

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Re: G. 'Rosemary Burnham'
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2008, 08:18:06 PM »
Your an angel Maggi. I was toying with the idea of turning my screen on its side, but something has gone sadly wrong with my computer - the display flashes when I switch it on and then remains black. I have to try restart several times before I get a permanent picture. Need to take it the the doc. :(

That picture really does do it credit. It really is a beautiful snowdrop.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2008, 08:27:57 PM by adarby »
Anthony Darby, Auckland, New Zealand.
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johnw

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Re: G. 'Rosemary Burnham'
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2008, 05:18:06 PM »
Well I received a prompt reply back from the RHS on the registration of 'Rosemary Burnham'.  So the AGCBC is in error.  I wonder if it should be formally registered to secure the name. I suppose a taxonomist somewhere is already scouring dusty journals to snatch the name away.

johnw

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your enquiry to the Royal Horticultural Society's Members’ Advisory Service.

The name 'Rosemary Burnham' has not yet been registered with the KAVB (the Royal General Bulbgrower's Association), which is the International Cultivar Registration Authority (ICRA) for Galanthus (incidentally neither have 'Francesca', 'Francisca' or 'Francesca Darts').

The 2001 Galanthus monograph by Matt Bishop, Aaron David, and John Grimshaw, gives the name as G. elwesii 'Rosemary Burnham' (syn. 'Francesca') and provides quite a detailed account of its discovery and introduction.  It states that "It was originally found by Rosemary Burnham (pers. comms. to J. Flintoff 1998, to John Grimshaw 2001) in the ruin of an old garden at Burneby, British Columbia, in the early 1960's, so the prospects for its longevity in cultivation are encouraging".  This seems to clear up any confusion about the correct name of the plant, unless someone discovers a prior published description somewhere else that gives a different name.

I hope this helps.  If not, please do contact us again.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Lancaster
Botanist, Wisley
John in coastal Nova Scotia

 

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