As winter begins to lift its heavy blanket from the earth, Snowdrops are often the first sign of Spring – the first indicator of new life beginning in the soil.

The Giant Snowdrop Company – a business based in Hyde, near Stroud, existed from the early 1950s to the mid-1960s.

There will be a small display in the museum’s reception area telling the story of this local company whose importance is nationally recognised as having laid the foundations for the current popularity and availability of snowdrops.  By collecting, propagating and offering bulbs for sale by mail order Brigadier and Mrs Mathias with Herbert Ransom made available to a wide group of ordinary gardeners what had previously been accessible only to a small group of dedicated Galanthophiles. We will be able to share some of their catalogues with information from the then national experts about the leading varieties sold; letters from key people and collectors of the time, as well as medals won at Royal Horticultural Society shows.

In addition, in the Walled Garden behind the museum we have a collection of snowdrop varieties connected with the Giant Snowdrop Company, from the scented Galanthus S. Arnott – the original giant snowdrop – to snowdrops collectively  known as the ‘Hyde Four’ named after family members as well as many other notable varieties. 

This exhibition would not have been possible without the generous support of the following people: Quentin Mathias, Jane Kilpatrick, Jennifer Harmer, Sally Ann Berryman (nee Ransom), Alan Ransom, Ann Taylor and Caroline Dicker.