Collectors hunting rare bulbs

British garden and greenhouse enthusiasts are willing to pay top dollar for rare bulbs in the pursuit of owning some exclusive plants.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) recently revealed that single bulbs of certain species have been sold on auction site eBay for three-figure sums.

One example is the white Galanthus reginae-olgae "Autumn Snow", which changed hands for £162 for just one bulb.

The Galanthus Gala takes place every year with around 300 garden enthusiasts coming from across the UK and Europe to swap, buy and sell rare varieties.

Organiser Joe Sharman has noticed the increased demand for rare plants and said that his nursery has been left surprised by how long the trend has kept up.

"Its been getting more and more intense – this year I sold out completely within four days, whereas last year it took me three weeks," he said.

In other news, the RHS has announced the winners of its 2009 show season awards, which were presented on February 15th on the eve of the RHS London Plant and Design Show.