The Queens of Easter – Updated

Narcissus Minnow
Narcissus Minnow

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.

Narcissus Tete a Tete
Narcissus Tete a Tete

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

Narcissus Cheerfulness
Narcissus Cheerfulness

But the strongest scent comes from Narcissus Cheerfulness which is my absolute favourite.  I adore these and add more each year.

Narcissus Pheasants' Eye
Narcissus Pheasants Eye

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.

11 Comments Add yours

  1. You have many I also love…mine are still not pleased with the cold weather..they need some warmth…I do love the white ones and those that mature to a pink coral cup…they come up a bit later

  2. I love all kinds of daffodils and narcissi, whether in wild plantings or marshalled in large drifts along the A roads and roundabouts. So bright and cheery taking us from winter to spring – hurrah for the yellow flagship of spring!

  3. PJ Girl says:

    I love your white variety – they’re so beautiful! My daffs have suffered in the high winds so I’ll be on the look out for some miniatures this Autumn.

  4. Anna says:

    Much prefer the paler varieties too Helen although I’m not sure whether I would consider Thalia as a miniature ~ well not in these parts anyway 🙂 Although bright yellow I do like the little Tete a Tetes, Minnow as well as Jenny which is a smaller version of Thalia. Congratulations on finishing your garden history course – I’m not convinced that you’ve finished studying. I’m sure that you are familiar with the phrase ‘life long learning’ 🙂 A most Happy Easter to you.

  5. I got a little irritated that my drifts of ‘Ice Follies’ (bought from Nyssen’s) have about 10% of another variety mixed up with them – kind of spoils the effect. Incidentally, I wonder whether the same might have happened to you because, I’m sorry to say, that as pretty as it is, the top photo isn’t Thalia. I recently posted photos of Thalia and you’ll see it is a simple, all-white with more delicate petals. Indeed, your fourth photo looks very like Thalia! Sorry to be pedantic and tedious. Pheasants Eye is gorgeous and I’m looking forward to it flowering. Dave

  6. Libby says:

    I agree with David and was about to comment to that effect. The unknown narcissus looks like Thalia to me, and the top one doesn’t. 🙂 Lovely daffs though.

  7. I, too, enjoy masses of different varieties of daffodils. I also interplant with grape hyacinth to add additional color.

  8. Christina says:

    i suppose many people don’t like what is common or planted all around, but I have always love the fact that everyone has daffodils planted and the roads and roundabouts look beautiful to be, I loved seeing them this year when I was visiting a few weeks ago. Here the roads are more likely to be lined with rubbish and discarded plastic bags and no-one plants anythig for the enjoyment of others, Certainly in a small garden they can be a problem as their die back so your choice of smaller varieties is perfect for your garden but I do think there is space for the more obvious species in plantings that need to ne easy to maintain and have minimum cost. Christina

  9. Victoria says:

    I also think the white one is Thalia – it’s multi-headed and the knock-out scent is a good clue. If I could only plant one daffodil, that would be it. Anna makes a good point about the size – mine are quite tall too. But they look so delicate, they fit easily into a small garden.

  10. My garden is full of rain at the moment but the daffodils are glowing and cheerful. I love the sight of them. My favourite has always been Narcissus Pheasant’s Eye. We had to dig all the bulbs up a couple of years ago when we sold part of the garden – they were mixed up and scattered about and I like the mixed bunches. I was really pleased to see the Pheasant’s Eyes had survived the moved. Love the white ones in your garden … will look out for the bulbs this autumn.

  11. acairfearann says:

    I have never been able to have enough daffodils, originally my garden had only the old classics of the Peasant’s Eye, the original Alfred yellow trumpet, a wonderful completely doubled yellow with green striping, and a slender trumpet of a cream yellow…so I was a traditionalist. Over the last few years, however, a few others have slipped in; in particular a pink one (I swore I wouldn’t get a pink daffodil, ever…very narrow minded of me) and I am beginning to appreciate the pink varieties more for their subtle colouring. Especially since growing tulips is almost impossible here: if the rodents don’t get them, they die out in about two years, as they are unable to take the heavy yellow clay till soil.

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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