Six on Saturday – At this time of year it is the little things that matter ..

These early months of the year are not about the loud flamboyant flowers of summer but the small jewels that survive the tough winter weather and lift your spirit when you come across them in the garden.

Along side the snowdrops there are a number of other tiny bulbs, corms and rhyzomes that quietly survive much of the year underground but come into their own in the early spring.  Here are six that have graced the garden in February and March.


One:  Iris reticulata

Flowering in early February this is one of the earliest spring flowers to come into bloom in our garden.  It looks so delicate but is survives the harshest conditions being native to Russia, the Caucasus, and northern Iran.  We do tend to loose them in the garden so we tend to grow them in pots of well drained soil containing plenty of grit.  The markings and colour are just stunning.

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Two:  Cyclamen coum

These are tough little plants which are slowly spreading themselves around the garden.  They have been flowering since at least late January and are still flowering now.  They seem to be particularly successful growing in dry areas under deciduous shrubs and trees in what appear to be quite inhospitable conditions.  Cyclamen hederifolium also grows successfully in the garden producing flowers in the autumn.

Their natural range is around the Black Sea from Bulgaria through northern Turkey to the Caucasus and Crimea, but there is also a second population near the Mediterranean from the Hatay Province in Turkey through Lebanon to northern Israel ¹ .

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Three:  Crocus

The spring crocus certainly deserve a place in this six.  This year they have been spectacular, really enjoying the warm February sunshine along with the bees.  This photograph was taken on 25th February 2019.  Typically for us the yellow crocus come first followed by the whites and purples.  We tend to grow them through the meadow grass where they can be left undisturbed.

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Four:  Chionodoxa

We are along way from having an extensive carpet of Chionodoxa yet but they do appear to be establishing well.  Last autumn we planted a large number of new bulbs to try and speed the process along and they have emerged and flowered in their first year.

Similar to Scilla, but in fact a different genus, they are natives of the eastern Mediterranean specifically Crete, Cyprus and Turkey² .  Their common name, ‘Glory-of-the-Snow’, suits them perfectly.

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Five:  Tulipa kaufmanniana ‘Ice Stick’

One of the first tulips to come into flower each year, the Kaufmanniana tulips have now come into bloom  (11 March 2019).  This variety is Ice Stick.  In general many of the tulips we plant only flower for one year and then have to be replaced.  The Kaufmanniana tulips however seem to be repeating well and returning each year.

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Six:  Anemone blanda

Last, but certainly not least are the windflowers, Anemone blanda, which come in whites and blues.   They are charming, reliable little plants that grow in our deciduous woodland areas.

They are native to southeastern Europe, Turkey, Lebanon, and Syria³ and prefer well drained soils that dry out in summer.  Our soil does tend to get waterlogged in the winter months but the native trees they are planted beneath does seem to keep the soil a little drier.

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That is my six for for this week but there are certainly many more special spring blooms just around the corner.  Exciting times.


The Six on Saturday meme is hosted by The Propagator. Click on the link to see what other plant lovers are chatting about.

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Early March – a quiet wander around the garden in early spring

After an unseasonably warm February we are now back to a more traditional March menu of sunshine and showers and windy days.  In between showers it is nice to just wander and browse.  Every day now there is something different emerging.  Green shoots are visible on many perennials and the peonies that we moved in the autumn to a new home in more sunshine are all looking very promising.

At this time of year it is the little things that matter.  There is no full-on show of summer flowers but the small clumps of bulbs and other spring flowers that come back year after year are always very special.

It will be interesting to see whether the warm February will bring on the spring flowers earlier this year.  These photographs were all taken on 11th March 2019.

Whilst sitting enjoying a well earned cuppa, it struck me how wonderful the two flowering cherries (Prunus incisa ‘Paean’) that flank the patio steps were looking.  They are in full flower and certainly the significant pruning that we gave them last year after flowering to get them back into shape has done them no harm at all.

Even when not in leaf or flower the old twisted wisteria stems add real character to this patio area.

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In the more shaded areas and in the top copse the primroses are now beginning to emerge taking over from the snowdrops that seemed to go over quickly this year in the warm weather.  One of the jobs for the next week or so will be to lift and divide some of the snowdrop clumps whilst they are in the green.  The snowdrop walk in the top copse has developed well but the individual clumps look ready to be divided and spread around to develop the walk even further.

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Also in the woodland walk the first of the Anemone blanda are starting to emerge.  We planted these some years ago now but although they seem to come back year after year they do not seem to have multiplied up to any great extent.  They appear to be very delicate but seem to withstand the wind, rain and cold.

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Somewhat unexpectedly we have found that some of the Anemone coronaria corms that we grew when we were growing commercially for Honey Pot Flowers have survived well over the winter and are flowering again.  When growing for sale we tended to replant each year to ensure that we had good quality long stemmed flowers.  This is less important in a private garden and if they continue to survive and establish more naturally they will be a great addition to the new flowering garden.

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Regular readers will know that we are transforming what used to be our flower farm into a more aesthetically pleasing flower garden where we can just enjoy growing flowers for ourselves rather than for sale.  The structural work is now all complete and the formal hedge is beginning to establish.  We think it has all survived the hot dry summer last year but only time will tell.   There is plenty more scope for plants that will give more winter interest in this part of the garden and we are currently planting a new area of colourful Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ and the red stemmed Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’ on the moist bank at the north end.

One of our favourite spring flowers that seem to thrive here in Warwickshire are the Hellebores.  They seed themselves freely around the garden and are pretty trouble free.  It is such a pleasure to bend down and lift their heads to see the beautiful markings on the inside of the flowers.

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Another plant that is flowering its socks off is the perennial wallflower (Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’).   Although we always admire this plant in other people’s gardens, especially when combined with striking orange colours later in the year, it has been some years since we have had one in our garden.   It was planted last year in an open position in full sun and has established very well, remaining evergreen with some flower throughout most of the winter.  It is now getting into its stride as the weather warms up.  Luckily it is very easy to propagate from cuttings and we have a good number of young plants growing well in the greenhouse that will allow us to create an excellent show across the flower garden and create some continuity in different beds.

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Not much is happening in the orchard yet although the young apricot is beginning to flower.  The buds of the pear blossom are beginning to swell and new green leaves are just emerging on the quince. Whether it is just too early for the apricot fruit to set remains to be seen but we were very successful last year despite the bitterly cold weather.  Thankfully all the orchard pruning is now complete and the new tripod ladder that I wrote about in an earlier article has helped enormously (both with pruning the orchard and bringing down an enormous Pyracantha to a manageable height).

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Apricot blossom

Many of the evergreen foliage plants are certainly earning their place in the garden at this time of year.  The neatly clipped Lonicera nitada hedges, the evergreen Hebe, Skimmia, Pittisporum and trailing ivy all create structure throughout the garden and have done all winter.  Alongside these green shades new leaves are emerging.  Very striking is the rich golden foliage of Spirea japonica ‘Goldflame’ which shines out in the spring sunshine.

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The stars of the show at this time though are the bulbs.  Small clumps of the miniature narcissus are returning like old friends in flower beds throughout the garden.

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Hyacinths that we grew in pots in previous years and could not bear to simply throw away are now establishing themselves and creating a lovely spring show amongst the evergreen shrubs.

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Even more exciting are the delicate flowers of the Chinodoxa that we are slowly building up around the garden.  Their delicate pink and blue flowers seem to be establishing well at the base of the long hawthorn hedgerow and amongst the primroses on a sunny bank in the top copse.

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I could go on!  This is always an exciting time of year and there will be plenty to talk about over the coming weeks.

 

 

 

Early February – spring is definitely on the horizon

Although some days remain cold and grey the garden is on the move. The green shoots of many bulbs are beginning to emerge from under the ground and there is an array of small, exquisite blooms to enjoy throughout the garden.

Without doubt the Snowdrops are in their prime in February. Over the years we have spread them around the garden here at Waverley and every year we have the pleasure of seeing them emerge (even though we have long forgotten where exactly we planted them all).

Over a number of years we have sought to create a snowdrop walk in the copse at the north end of the garden. The bulbs of the common snowdrop Galanthus nivalis that we lifted and divided in the green have established well and bulked up into substantial clumps. Each of these could probably be lifted again this year and spread out further under the trees.

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It is always wise to stop and turn over some of these beautiful flowers. I was surprised to come across this double variety in the leaf litter of the woodland. We must have planted it deliberately in this position at some time in the past.

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Some of my favourites are the larger, glaucus leaved Galanthus elwesii which tend to stand tall and bloom on much longer individual stems. They also start flowering soon after Christmas. This group contrast well with these dark hellebores that flower at the same time.

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Similarly the naturalised snowdrops sit so comfortably with the first of the emerging primroses.

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But it is not all about snowdrops at this time of year. The yellow crocus have now pushed their way through the winter lawn and as soon as the sun shines will open into their full glory.

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Also complementing the snowdrops are these tiny pink blooms of Cyclamen coum surrounded by a carpet of their mottled green leaves.

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The striking blue flowers of the Iris reticulata are also starting to emerge. We have tried to grow these in the flower beds but they do not seem to thrive in our cold damp winter soil. However, growing them in bowls of gritty compost seems to work well and they are a delight to see each year on the patio.

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It certainly will not be long until more spring flowers begin to appear but for now it is the snowdrops that take centre stage all over the garden.

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Tulip selections for 2019

Although it could be argued that the garden in November is winding down ready for winter it is in fact one of our busiest months for preparing for next seasons spring show.

We do have a lot of hardy perennial bulbs that return year after year but find that most of our tulips do not survive more than one season and do not flower well in their second year. 

Each year therefore we have great fun browsing the catalogues and selecting our colour combinations.  Our aim is to achieve a succession of flowering through the season and also have striking colour combinations at any moment in time.  It is not all about the tulips though and combining the tulips with wallflowers, alliums, violas, camassia and other spring blooms can create a much more interesting effect than tulips alone.

In 2018 the weather conditions were ‘challenging’ to say the least and this resulted in many of the tulips flowering at the same time and then only for a short period (see: https://honeypotflowers.wordpress.com/2018/05/06/tulips-2018-the-results-are-in/ ).  Hopefully this year will be more successful and we get an excellent show over a longer period. 

For 2019 we have selected and planted the following:


Flower Garden:  Tulips white ‘Maureen’ amongst Allium ‘Purple Sensation’, ‘Van Eijk’ and ‘Purple Blend’.

Tulip ‘Maureen’  Photo credit:  Live feed from http://www.dutchbulbs.co.uk
Tulip ‘Van Eijk’  Photo credit:  Live feed from http://www.dutchbulbs.co.uk
Parkers ‘Puple Blend’  Photo credit:  Live feed from www.dutchbulbs.co.uk

Old Rose Garden:  Tulips Marilyn and Maytime amongst the multi-stemmed Narcissus ‘Thalia’

Narcissus ‘Thalia’   Photo credit:  Live feed from www.peternyssen.com
Tulip Marilyn Photo credit:  Live feed from www.peternyssen.com
Tulip ‘Maytime’  Photo credit:  Live feed from www.gardenersworld.com

Kitchen patio:  Tulips ‘Best Seller’ in April followed by the later ‘Apricot Delight’ growing through Viola ‘Honey Bee’

Tulip ‘Bestseller’  Photo credit:  Live feed from www.gardenersworld.com
Tulip ‘Apricot Delight’  Photo credit:  Live feed from www.farmergracy.co.uk

Top tier of the front garden:  Tulip ‘White Triumphator’ and ‘China Town’

Tulip ‘China Town’ Photo credit:  Live feed from www.peternyssen.com
Tulip ‘White triumphator’  Photo credit:  Live feed from www.avonbulbs.co.uk

Back garden rose arch:  Tulip ‘Apledorn’ growing through orange ‘Fire King’ and deep ‘Blood Red’ wallflowers planted out earlier in mid-September.

Tulip ‘Apeldorn’  Photo credit:  Live feed from www.peternyssen.com

Large terracota pots:     Tulips ‘Black Parrot’ and ‘Menton Exotic’ amongst Narcissus ‘Jetfire’ and Viola ‘Pineapple Crush’

Tulip ‘Menton Exotic’  Photo credit:  Live feed from www.peternyssen.com
Tulip ‘Black Parrot’  Photo Credit:  Live feed from www.peternyssen.com

Large green tubs:  Tulips ‘Black Parrot’ and ‘Menton Exotic’ growing through Pansy ‘Matrix Sunrise’


Patio garden flower bed:  Tulips ‘Burgundy’ and ‘Ballerina’

Tulip ‘Ballerina’ Photo credit:  Live feed from www.avonbulbs.co.uk
Tulip ‘Burgundy’ Photo credit:  Live feed from www.peternyssen.com

Large square grey tubs on the side patio:  Tulips ‘Ballerina’ and ‘Burgundy’ with Pansy ‘Matrix Sunrise’


Grey troughs:  Tulip ‘Slawa‘ and ‘Orange Dynasty


Tulip ‘Slawa’ Photo credit:  real-time link to  http://www.peternyssen.com

Old Peony Bed:  Tulip ‘City of Vancover‘ with Allium ‘Purple Sensation’

Allium ‘Purple Sensation’
Tulip ‘City of Vancover’ Photo credit:  Live feed from www.avonbulbs.co.uk

Rather pleasingly we have had some decent spells of dry weather this year allowing us to plant all the bulbs in good time (using our new Powerplanter gadget in many cases).   All we need now is a good spell of cold winter weather to encourage the tulips to produce long stems and hope that the spray we use to keep the squirrels at bay works well.  Fingers crossed!

 

Camassia – the blue spires of May

May is a time for blue and white in the garden. The tall bluebell coloured spikes of Camassia leichtlinii can be relied upon to make a stunning show every year and have established themselves throughout the old rose garden.

A native of North America, these hardy perennials stand majestically some 3 feet high on strong sturdy stems. They grow well in damp, heavy, fertile ground in full sun or partial shade (damp ground seems to be a reoccurring theme in our garden (see Snake’s Head Fritillary) but this is not a challenge if you choose your plants wisely).

Companion planting

Camassia are able to establish themselves well in rough grassland as long as the moisture levels are right. In the last couple of years we have started to plant bulbs amongst an area of long grass and white cow parsley (Anthriscus syvestris) and I am delighted to see that they are establishing well. The blue and white should look wonderful together when they bulk up.

Camassia establishing well amongst the Cow Parsley
Camassia establishing well amongst the Cow Parsley

It is important to remember that the leaves should not be cut or strimmed until the bulbs die back naturally (about July) or the bulbs will not be able to build up effectively to over winter and multiply. The large bulbs (daffodil sized) do seem to move quite easily if you can plant them immediately.. Do not let them dry out.

In the herbaceous borders we have found Camassia works well when planted with tulips in contrasting colours surrounded and anchored to the ground with low growing forget-me-nots. Strictly speaking you could argue that Camassia and tulips need different growing conditions but they seem perfectly happy together.

Tulips Merlot, Marilyn and Pretty Woman amongst a sea of camassia
Tulips ‘Merlot’, ‘Marilyn’ and ‘Pretty Woman’ amongst a sea of Camassia

Cutting and conditioning

We have seen a trend towards a blue theme for wedding flowers this year ( Blues – this years’ wedding flower trend? ) and these flowers are certainly invaluable at this time of year. The complementary white ‘alba’ variety is also available.

The flower heads of Camassia open steadily from the bottom so you need to cut them early to get a long high quality flower stem. However, it is possible to pinch off the bottom-most flowers as they go over and use the remaining stem.

Conditioning is straight forward, simply cut and immediately place in cool water to condition for at least a couple of hours or overnight. Camassia are strongly geotropic so keep them upright and tied or they will soon bend upwards at the tips and look rather odd. Not a flower to be used horizontally in wide table arrangements.

One word of warning as we have found that the flowers do seem to stain other materials. We have an interesting blue pattern on a painted wall now!

Pest and diseases

From our experience they are not really attacked by slugs or other pests and remain relatively disease free. Good quality blooms are therefore easy to achieve if picked at the right time.

Hardiness: Fully hardy bulbous perennial

Origin: North America (Camassia quamash is reported by Anna Pavord to have been an important food plant for native Americans of the north west who dried the bulbs over their fires and stored them to eat in the winter ¹)

Family: Asparagaceae ²

Flowering time: May

Further reading

¹ “Bulb” by Anna Pavord (ISBN 978-1-84533-415-4)

² Royal Horticultural Society

Tulips 2018 – the results are in …

After the excitement of designing the spring colour scheme and planting out the tulips in the autumn we rarely reflect on how well each of the individual varieties worked out in practice.  So, this year things will be different!  The aim here is to record how they performed so that we can actually remember what did well when we come to sit down with the catalogues next year.

It is important to remember that our garden is just outside Warwick in the UK Midlands.  Further south flowering is likely to be earlier and towards the north of England and into Scotland flowering will be considerably later.  Equally because we are about as far away from the sea as you can get in England we are probably drier than the far west but wetter than the east.  This winter (2017/18) does appear to have been particularly wet here in Warwick.

Tulip Brown Sugar
Tulip Brown Sugar

Timing

We usually plan our tulips so that we will have as long a flowering period as possible thus allowing us to cut regularly for bouquets and other arrangements.  Typically we will see a steady progression from the very early, early , mid-season and late tulips flowering from mid-March through to May.

This year things haven’t worked out in quite such an orderly fashion.  As usual the Kaufmanniana tulips (Ice Stick) and Greigii tulips flowered first (Vanilla Cream) flowering around the 6 April.

Kaufmanniana Tulip Ice Stick
Kaufmanniana Tulip Ice Stick

The very cold spring followed by the blast of heat on 18th and 19th April brought most of the remaining tulips out at the same time (c. 20th April).  From a gardening perspective this created a wonderful explosion of colour but as a flower grower it meant that we had a glut of flowers with a very limited period for sales.  We appear to have lost the usual differentiation between early, mid-season and late this year.

Our photographic records from 2014 show that the Kaufmanniana tulips were in bloom on 31 March (as opposed to 6 April this year), the early Purissima tulips on 31 March also whilst the bulk of the mid-season tulips were flowering by 11 April (as opposed to 20 April this year).   Despite what has seemed a very cold season these records indicate that we have only really seen a lag of about 1 week on previous years.

Tulip Finola
Sold as Tulip Caravelle (but does not seem to match the catalogue description)

Stem Length

For each of the varieties we have measured a typical stem length and compared it with the projected height in the original Parkers catalogue.  As florists and flower growers the length of the stem, the quality of the bloom achieved and whether they are early, mid-season or late tulips is vital and will determine whether we plant the same variety again next year.

Our stem length measurements only provide an indication and are taken at a typical cutting stage of maturity.  In reality tulips continue to grow even after they have been cut.  This feature does make creating formal wedding bouquets with tulips particularly challenging.  If you prepare a bouquet the night before an event the tulips will have grown by morning undermining the design and shape.

 Variety Actual Height Expected Height
 Jan Reus 45cm 50cm
Ballerina 55cm 55cm
 Christmas Pearl 40cm 35cm
 Finola 30cm 40cm
 Brown Sugar 60cm 45cm
 Princess Irene 32cm 35cm
 Merlot 65cm 70cm
 Pretty Woman 55cm 40cm
 Marilyn 55cm 55cm
 La Belle Epoque 48cm 40cm
 Slawa 55cm 40cm
 Recreado 48cm 50cm

Tulip Princess Irene
Tulip Princess Irene

Overall, despite the cold spring and slow growth the tulips have pretty much all achieved the expected stem length.  Three varieties, Brown Sugar, Pretty Woman and Slawa, seem to have done particularly well and grown some way beyond the projected height.

For some reason Black Hero and Apricot Parrot don’t seem to have come up at all.

Longevity

Typically we would treat our tulips as annuals planting out new bulbs in the autumn and digging them up after flowering.  To get the longest stems many of the bulbs are pulled out of the ground when we harvest the flowers.

Greigii Tulip Vanilla Cream
Greigii Tulip Vanilla Cream

There are a few, however, that seem to be more perennial than the rest.  These include the Kaufmanniana and Greigii tulips and we have also retained a large clump of what we think is Jan Reus which seem to have established themselves well.

Tulip Jan Reus
Tulip Jan Reus

Quality

Very few of the varieties have suffered (in terms of bloom quality) from the cold, wind and rain.  We grow all of our tulips outdoors.

Tulip La Belle Epoque
Tulip La Belle Epoque

Storage and holding

Because the tulips have all come together we have had to hold some cut tulips so that they were available for later weddings.  To do this we cut and condition the flowers as usual and then wrap them tightly in brown paper to keep them straight.  They are then stored flat in a cool refrigerator (out of water) until needed.

When you get them out of the fridge they do tend to look pretty sad and floppy but you will be amazed how they perk up.  Simply re-cut the stems, re-wrap in brown paper to keep them straight and place in cool, fresh water to rehydrate overnight.  By the morning they will be turgid and fresh looking and ready to use.

Around the garden

The individual blooms are lovely but combining them with other complementary flowers in a garden setting really brings them to life (see Spring sunshine and tulips in full bloom for the full picture).


Honey Pot Flowers are wedding and celebration florists based in Warwickshire in the United Kingdom specialising in natural, locally grown seasonal flowers. We grow many of our own flowers allowing us to offer something very different and uniquely personal.

Narcissus – spring itself

Perhaps it is because Narcissus (Daffodils) are so common and easy to grow that we tend to overlook how interesting and different they are from many other plants.  Spring would certainly not be spring without them and their happy colours bring a breath of fresh air after a long grey, cold winter.

In researching for this article I was surprised to see just how many different species of Narcissus there are.  Anna Pavord ¹ indicates that there are over 50.  It has been equally fascinating to see how the different varieties that we have put in the garden over the years relate to each of these species.

Although we have our own native wild daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus) in Britain, many of the species we grow in our gardens have a distribution centred on the Iberian peninsula with others stretching across France and into Italy and Greece.  They are very easy to establish in the English garden and come back reliably year after year.  Any investment in Narcissus bulbs will give you years of pleasure with very little trouble.

The majority of Narcissus are fully hardy and grow well in full sun or dappled shade.  Most daffodils like soil that is well drained but not too dry in the summer.  Although they look lovely in borders and large tubs they look particularly effective naturalised in grass.  One of my favourite parts of our garden in spring is the orchard where the daffodils have established themselves well at the base of each of the apple, plum, cherry and pear trees.  We have written previously about the orchard in an earlier blog (The Orchard – beautiful in spring, productive in autumn).

Spring daffodils throughout the orchard bring colour before the blossom breaks
Spring daffodils throughout the orchard bring colour before the blossom breaks

Pests

Luckily for us Narcissus have their own inbuilt protection against the common pests in the garden.  Due to the thick, unpleasant and toxic sap most wild animals do not eat Narcissus.  They are rarely eaten by slugs and snails although we do sometimes see damage on the open flowers.

Cutting and conditioning

Whereas Narcissus make excellent cut flowers it is important to recognise that if placed, freshly cut, in a vase of mixed flowers the sap will make the other flowers wilt prematurely.

When cutting Narcissus we always cut into a separate bucket of cool, fresh water away from other flowers.  Every 20 minutes we change the water until the sticky sap stops running from the cut stems.  Once the sap stops running we leave the flowers to condition for a couple of hours in a cool place.  At this point it is safe to incorporate the Narcissus with other mixed flowers in a bouquet or arrangement.   Don’t cut the stems again otherwise the sap will start to run again and contaminate your vase water and affect the other flowers.

Narcissus should be picked when the flowers are still tight and fairly green but their necks have turned towards 90 degrees rather than facing straight up.  They will have a long vase life of up to 10 days if cut at the right stage and properly conditioned.

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Varieties across the garden

Over nearly 25 years we have planted a huge range of Narcissus throughout the garden and I am afraid that the names of many have been lost in the mists of time.  Carol and I tend to disagree on which we like best but luckily there is a place for all of them.

Some of the more miniature daffodils such as ‘Jenny ‘ and the ever popular ‘Tête-à-tête’ (both Cyclamineus types showing the characteristics of Narcissus cyclamineus) are establishing themselves beautifully in the front of the borders.  As mentioned earlier, the larger trumpet varieties look wonderful in the orchard and woodland.

Miniature daffodil Jenny

Later in the spring the Pheasant Eye’s begin to emerge (Narcissus poeticus).  These have smaller and more delicate flowers and we find these particularly useful for cut flower arrangements.

Pheasant's Eye Narcissus (Narcissus poeticus type)
Pheasant’s Eye Narcissus (Narcissus poeticus type)

Although we like them all, one of our favourites has to be ‘Thalia’.  This is a multi-headed white Narcissus of the Triandrus type which show the characteristics of Narcissus triandrus.

Multiheaded Thalia (Triandrus type daffodil)
Multiheaded Thalia (Triandrus type daffodil)

More recently we have started to introduce ‘Bridal Crown’ and ‘Avalanche’ which both have small fragrant flowers and are of the Tazetta type (related to Narcissus tazetta).  As well as growing well in pots amongst the tulips and violas we have also planted some amongst newly planted roses giving a lovely spring show as the rose bushes begin to break (see: New additions to our garden of Roses and 3 fragrant roses for Autumn).

Narcissus Avalanche (multiheaded Tazetta daffodil)
Narcissus Avalanche (multiheaded Tazetta daffodil)

Family:  Amaryllidaceae

Floriography (the language of flowers):  Self-love ²

And finally a little poetry…

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

William Wordsworth (1815)

Further reading

¹ “Bulb” by Anna Pavord (ISBN 978-1-84533-415-4)

² “The language of flowers” by Vanessa Diffenbaugh (ISBN 978-0-230-75258-0)


Honey Pot Flowers are wedding and celebration florists based in Warwickshire in the United Kingdom specialising in natural, locally grown seasonal flowers. We grow many of our own flowers allowing us to offer something very different and uniquely personal.