Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Great Spring Bulb Challenge - The Daffodils

Shhh! Bumblebee sleeping!
While tulips are the flashy spring things, the daffodils aren't far behind. There's something thrilling about the frill of a daffodil cup, especially when it's tinged with color on its edges, or it's fragrant, or a sleepy bumblebee curls up inside it to take a snooze.

I find daffodils take a little more effort to plant than tulips, because they do better if they're planted a little deeper. Eight inches is where I go and while a couple of inches might not seem like that much, when you garden in heavy clay, and your heart isn't really in it as the season ends and it's getting cold, it makes a difference. But again, as with the tulips and other fall-planted bulbs, they're worth the effort when spring comes around. And bonus: squirrels leave daffodil bulbs alone!  It seems they taste yukky.

I neglected to take photos of the all-white 'Thalia' daffodils when they were
in bloom, so here they are from last year. The middle yellow ones are 'Pipit'
and the white ones with yellow centers in the foreground are 'Lemon Beauty'.

Most of the daffodils have come and gone now, except for one teeny weeny thing that always brings up the rear. 'New Baby' is aptly named, since its bloom is no more than an inch across, if that. It's very easy to miss it, so I have to remember to watch for it. There are several tiny Narcissus and I'd like to get more of them, but if I do, I'll be sure to buy a LOT, so they don't get lost in the landscape.

And now, the parade of daffodils, strutting their stuff:

We found these blooming in the ditch half a mile down the road, across from
the cemetery, shortly after we moved here in 1977. Perhaps someone tossed
them there years ago. They're fragrant and simply sweet.

Ah, 'Replete'. Oh how I hate thee. But apparently not enough to banish you
from the garden completely. Truth be told, you're maturing a bit into a little
nicer bloom, the longer I have you. Could you be growing on me?

A few years ago, I came across a daffodil named, 'Romy'. While it isn't spelled the same as my Romie, I had to have it. I love the edge on the cup.


'Jetfire' is one of the earlier bloomers in my garden. Don't they look like
choir singers proclaiming, "Spring is here!" ?

'Faith' has a bit of a pink color to its large cup.

'Pipit' is a small daffodil, but it almost always has multiple
blooms on each stem.

'Avalon' usually has more of a white eye on the petals around the cup,
similar to 'Pipit', but some years it doesn't, like this year.  'Avalon' is much
larger than 'Pipit', too.

'Pink Charm'

'Tête à Tête' are the darlings of the daffodil world for good reason. They're petite,
proliferant, and problem-free. I read that it's the fourth best-selling
daffodil in the world!

There are different classifications of daffodils (Narcissus) and one of them is Split-cup or Butterfly. This is the first year that I've grown any of these. I only have a few, but I see more of them going in this fall.


'Sagitta' has a large cup and blooms last a long time.

Finally, the tiniest, and latest to bloom daffodil in my garden - 'New Baby'. And such a baby it is. It just opened today. One year, I never saw a single bloom because they're so tiny that I missed them.

'New Baby'

Just to show you how tiny 'New Baby' really is! (And I have small hands.)

Rarely do I cut flowers from my garden to bring in the house, because I prefer to walk through my gardens and see them there. But this year, with the gloomy, cold, rainy weather, I brought some flowery sunshine in.


Fern @ Life on the Balcony said...

Oooh. I love Replete and Romy the best. I wish I had the room to totally geek out on a plant.

Kristin said...

Love all the Narcissus! What a collection you have. Must look fantastic. Mine are finished already. :(

Christopher Tidrick said...

Again, beautiful post Kylee! Looks like our little competition turned out well for us both. :)

Jennah Watters said...

That bouquet really shows off how different all the blooms really are! Gorgeous. I love daffodils, and really should work on getting some more variety. Tete a Tete is one of my faves (I used to get those from the now-defunct Daffodil Days fundraiser from the American Cancer Society).

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