I was recently reading The Morville Hours by Katherine Swift and smiled when I read her describe her dislike of mass plantings of daffodils, “lining the roads and roundabouts in stiff phalanxes of an unvarying shade of yellow”. I couldn’t agree more but like Katherine I have discovered in recent years the variety of Narcissus that are available and my attitude has changed.
I am growing particularly fond of the miniature daffodils such as Tete a Tete, Minnow and Hawera. I have planted large groups of the later two varieties in the new Woodland Border and am really pleased with the result.
When I moved here I inherited several clumps of the large trumpet daffodils. These are exactly the variety that I dislike and which gets used a lot in municipal plantings en masse. I have moved quite a few to the back of the garden but one has popped up in the middle of my drifts of Narcissus Hawera and looks quite ridiculous. Talk about David and Goliath! I shall be moving it shortly.
Whilst the yellow Narcissus are jolly and bright and really brighten up a dull and grey Easter weekend, like this one, I prefer the lighter colours such as the ones above. I don’t know what variety these are as I have had them for a few years but they sure have a wonderful scent.
*I am reliably informed by Dave The Anxious Gardener and Libby that the above Narcissus is Thalia
But the strongest scent comes from Narcissus Cheerfulness which is my absolute favourite. I adore these and add more each year.
I’m also quite partial to Narcissus Pheasants Eye which has a very pretty red ring around the trumpet.
I prefer to plant my Narcissus in their varieties as opposed to mixing them up but unlike the roadside plantings I never plant them in serried rows, instead I scatter the bulbs on the ground and plant them where they fall and this seems to work well.
Next Autumn I want to get some native narcissus, the Lent Lily, Narcissus lobularis (psuedonarcissus) which I am planning to add to the shaded woodland garden and also the front garden for which a plan is finally emerging in my head.
I hope you enjoyed my tour of the Narcissus in my garden and Happy Easter
*Update: thanks to Dave and Libby for pointing out that the top picture was not of Narcissus Thalia as I first thought. On checking I had actually labelled them, so unlike me, and they are in fact Narcissus Minnow.