As the early snowdrops fade away the first real signs of spring emerge in the from of the often taken for granted daffodil. There is so much more to this wonderful genus of bulbs, than bright large custard yellow trumpets on stout stems. They come in a multitude of shapes, sizes and delicate colours and a long flowering season from January to May, there must surely be one to suit every one and most garden positions.
The Earlys; adding a brilliant splash of golden colour on a dreary January day.
Narcissi Rijnevels early sensation, is the earliest of them all and well worth a secluded spot near the house.
Another of my faverate is the elegant N. ‘peeping Tom’ flowering January to
Of course one of the wondrous early spring sights is great sweeps of daffodils planted in lawns and under trees naturalising into great blocks of planting. These two varieties are well known for their ability to multiply.
Naturalising; N. mounthood, white outer petals with a cream trumpet, make this a good mid season faverate flowering in April.
N. poeticus recurrus, this is the old pheasant eye narcissi and is a late season sensation flowering in May, the delicate white outer petals make it ideal under planting in Orchards with blossom in flower at the same time.
For pots and rockeries, smaller varieties are needed.
Dwarf Varieties; N. Little Gem, a clear yellow, 15-20cm flowering in April.
N. Jack Snipe a good reliable variety with cream petals and a lemon trumpet 15cm flowering in March.
Scented Narcissi are an added treat for the early spring garden, plant them on the corner of paths or next to the back door, an enclosed courtyard will give maximum effect. Or just grow them to have as cut flowers; in a large jug with some spring stems of coloured dog wood and hazel with catkins, their scent will fill a room.
Scented Narcissi; N.fragrant Rose, a delicate variety with creamy petals and a rose pink central cup, very fragrant flowers, April.
N. cheerfulness, small creamy white, multi-headed double clusters are borne on each stem. Good scent, flowering in April.
So now is the time to get inspired take notes of the different varieties of daffodils you see flowering and what you may want to plant for next season. Also spot those areas of the garden where a bright daffodil splash will add that extra spring lift to your garden. They will tolerate most growing conditions apart from deep shade and water logging. The shorter varieties will even cope with quite exposed sites. You want to be ordering your bulbs August/September for October delivery, with planting up to beginning of December, but no latter.
So happy Narcissi spotting!