Some Daffs

The first step towards solving a problem is admitting you have a problem.  I don’t have a problem, I have daffodils, and compared to people who count their plantings in tens of thousands I’m not even on the radar, so let me take this opportunity to just say too many daffodils is not a problem.  The long cool spring (also not a problem) is making the spring blooms last, and with a little sunshine and a little time to take some pictures…..

narcissus "stepchild"

Narcissus “stepchild”, one of many favorites, but just a little more favorite than most 😉

I’m sure you know daffodils are easy to grow.  A good vegetable patch will grow excellent daffodils, but the tried and true varieties can handle shade and roots and less than perfect growing conditions.  Just make sure they get good drainage.  A spot where water sits in winter or summer will likely cause the bulbs to rot.  Most of mine are in separate beds where I can keep better track of them.  I let pumpkins and sunflowers take over the space when the daffodil foliage dies down.

narcissus "bright angel"

This time of year the small cup, mostly white, poeticus type narcissus are taking over. This is narcissus “bright angel”.

The only difference between the terms daffodil and narcissus is that daffodil is the common name for many types and narcissus the species name for all the types.  I’ll let you decide which to use.  Here are “Bushmills” and “Pipit”, both are usually referred to as narcissus because of their non-trumpet or smaller blooms.

narcissus bushmills and pipit

The white on the left is narcissus “bushmills”, the yellow and white bicolor on the right is good old “pipit”.

There are going to be too many daffodil pictures in this post, so I’ll try and break it up a bit.  Tulips also seem to like these daffodil beds, and when I first planted this section there were a few stray bulbs that have now multiplied into decent clumps.  Me thinks they make a nice contrast.

mixed plantings of daffodils and tulips

Tulips growing as “weeds” in the daffodil bed. Please ignore the tumble down compost pile in the background, the kids did some “mining” and it did not go well for the walls.

Each season my fickle tastes latch on to a new favorite.  This year I like white, either in a shape resembling the poet’s narcissus….

narcissus "Dress Circle" and "Molten Lava"

Narcissus “Dress Circle” with “Molten Lava” peeking in on the right.

Or ones resembling the multiflowering paperwhites……

narcissus "geranium"

Narcissus “Geranium” can also be had in a double version (Sir Winston Churchill). This one has a strong fragrance, a trait which many of the smaller, multibloomed daffodils share.

Or a smaller, looser flowering, “wilder” look…..

narcissus "firebird"

Narcissus “Firebird” should be placed in a bit of shade to help the blooms last. Full sun tends to burn out the orange centers on this one.

Not every daffodil is a favorite.  Here’s “Rugged Realism”, which in my garden never bothers to bring its blooms up to where I can see them.

narcissus "Rugged Realism"

The dumpy narcissus “Rugged Realism”. Fortunately “Firebird” is sneaking in from the right and adds a little grace to this shot.

New favorites are always on the way, and this spring is no exception.  Newly planted daffodils are always late to come up in their first season, but these goodies from Brent and Becky’s hold much promise and could have me gushing praise come 2015.

narcissus "Sabatini"

Narcissus “Sabatini”, large, strong, blossoms with a bright sunshine yellow color and a white halo around the trumpet.

Also new, and reminding me slightly of those fat, overbred, hybrid daylilies…..

narcissus "York Minster"

Narcissus “York Minster” with thick petal substance and a strong color….. it’s not a flower for the “less is more” crowd.

The bold bright blooms scream spring to me, but there’s always room for the smaller and daintier.

narcissus "tiny Bubbles"

Just opening and also new this year is narcissus “Tiny Bubbles”.

But gardening is just as much about the no-name, tried and true favorites.  I have plenty of them, either bought or traded or gifted, and if you want to find your own I suggest visiting the American Daffodil Society website and finding a local chapter to investigate.  The flower shows are great, but the autumn bulb sales and swap meets are even better.  Most of my clumps found their way here via a friend’s visits to ADS meetings (I live in the plant society boondocks, closest meeting is a 2 hour drive both ways!), and she was kind enough to send a few bulbs my way.

narcissus "tahiti"

Tried and true, award winning narcissus “Tahiti”. A double daff for people who aren’t crazy about doubles.

Things are finally easing up here work wise (still waiting for some huge lottery winning to come my way), so as long as I don’t spend all my spare time sitting around enjoying spring (who would want that!?), I should be able to attack a few of those springtime tasks that are beginning to build up.  Weeding comes to mind.

violet as a weed

Just a few of the more attractive weeds which are showing up everywhere. I really need to spread some more mulch around before a green tsunami of unwelcome volunteers wipes me out.

Wish me luck on the weeding, with the warm sunshine, bright flowers, and singing birds there’s nothing I want to do more than sit around and enjoy it all!  I hope it’s the same in your part of the world 🙂

14 comments on “Some Daffs

  1. Pauline says:

    What an amazing selection of narcissus you have, we too have Pipit, which is almost finishing now, but what a marvellous perfume it has.

    • bittster says:

      Pipit is such a nice daff, but what a difference between gardens! Yours must be blooming for weeks yet if we get more heat tomorrow pipit may call it quits for the year! But cooler weather follows, and the temperatures will again be more daffodil friendly!

  2. pbmgarden says:

    Don’t think you can ever have enough daffodils. The “Tiny Bubbles” are nice. My sister dug up some narcissus two years ago from the house I grew up in, just before she put the house on the market, and I planted them here. I am anxious to see one bloom, but so far only leaves.

    • bittster says:

      If they are older daffs they will surely pull through and bloom again once they settle down. Daffs, roses and iris are some of the most sentimental pass along plants I can think of, your lucky to have them 🙂

  3. I like your attitude about daffodils: “too many daffodils is not a problem.” I also like Henry Mitchell’s attitude: “. . . the difference between great daffodils and common ones is not so vast as one thinks in the first flush of excitement when one starts being serious about daffodils.” So far, I m not too serious about daffodils. I mostly have ones found on site at my former home or swapped with other gardeners. Whenever I look in catalogs, I want one of each and my budget doesn’t permit that. I did get several choice ones from David Burdick and lost most of them while renovating a flower bed (aka taking it back from the goldenrod). I might try him again, as there aren’t as many to choose from as, say Brent and Becky’s, but all the choices are good ones.

    • bittster says:

      David has a great selection, I really like his attitude of proven performers which are also great garden plants. I’ll let you know when I dig this summer, there are always more bulbs than I know what to do with!
      Fyi I bought the kingsbury book last week 🙂 haven’t had a chance to read much of it but I blame you for this…. That and a fortuitously timed 30% off sale at timber press!
      … I’ll need to avoid Mitchell over the next few weeks. I have a sprouted lotus seed and don’t need any encouragement towards putting a big pond in the center of the yard to give it a suitable home 😉

  4. Christina says:

    You can’t have too many daffodils! Lovely to see them looking great in your garden. They need more summer irrigation than tulips so you may want to think about that where you have them mixed. I wish it was still spring here rather than rushing headlong into summer.

    • bittster says:

      We had two warm days and everything has moved ahead a week 😦 several daffs are over but the iris have sprouted up bloom stalks!
      We don’t get nearly as dry as you, it’s dry but not even close enough to make the daffodils unhappy.

  5. Cathy says:

    My goodness, what a selection you have! One advantage of cool damp springs is that the bulbs last longer, but hope you get a bit more warm sunshine to sit and enjoy them!

    • bittster says:

      I can sit and enjoy them in any weather! When it’s cold or rainy I just end up spending way too much time looking out the window at them…. Actually my 5 year old asked me a few weeks ago why I spend so much time looking outside. I guess it’s a little noticeable 🙂

  6. Annette says:

    Like, like, like, Frank! What a fabulous display – got out my notebook right away and hope to be able to add some to my own collection. Firebird, Dress Circle, Bright Angel and Stepchild certainly have caught my eye. Geranium was a big favourite this spring. They last for ages so I shall plant more of them.

    • bittster says:

      Geranium is one of my favorites, so reliable and a good grower.
      It’s hard to go wrong with daffs, new or old they all make for a nice spring. The only trait which annoys me is floppiness but even some of the new ones do this so it’s a matter of trying them out… And I do like to try daffodils out! 🙂

  7. Never too many daffs! Oh, did I just say that about a plant that makes prodigy with abandon? I too love their spring faces in any garden of any size. The weather has been kind to them and your display is wonderful. My only issue with them is the leaves must be left to whither. I companion plant them with lilies and daylilies to make it less noticeable. In fact, all lilies multiply too and that makes me thin the beds every few years. Work, work, work for pretty flowers. 😀

  8. I didn’t realize you were a true narcissus enthusiast! You have an excellent selection. I too like the white ones and the more wild-looking ones. I have some narcissus but have not kept track of the varieties. More of a tulip person, I guess.

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