to Each his passion, of course. But snowdrop? There we look some of on. “The color palette fascinates me,” explains Valentin. “By the crossing of types of you can do nice shades obtained. But also the places where snowdrops to be found and the stories that come with it, fascinate me. So are the locations sometimes jealously held secret because even snowdrops are stolen by collectors!”
Valentin must become an expert — a galantofiel — call. “In the past thirty years I have 26 new species have been discovered and given its name”, what it sounds like. Inspiration he finds in his own family. He has the ‘Grakes Yellow Gold’ to his grandfather and named, and the ‘Senne's Sunrise’ to his own son. “The buds of the latter kind are white. But if they open, they color light orange. Hence the ‘Sunrise’. I have this kind of happen to be discovered with the purchase of a batch of a thousand bulbs.”Work
All is there much more than chance alone is involved. The family of the snowdrops has only twenty bulbs, but the counter is on three thousand species. And that is the result of cross-pollination, which by the way is anything but a sinecure. “Precision work”, nods to Valentin. “With the help of a small paintbrush and a magnifying glass I bring pollen from one kind to the pistil of another.”
And there is also big money to earn with it. “For one snowdrop is one willing to 1,500 to 2,000 euros down to count,” said Valentin. “Really mad...” Though he saves no money, on the contrary. Three times a year he opens his garden — with eight hundred snowdrops — for the general public. The proceeds, about 600 euros, will go to two charities: Natuurpunt and The Tenth Turn. The latter organization was founded following the death of a cancer patient from Hoeselt.