Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Daffodil Awards

One afternoon in early May I was browsing the plants at a local nursery.  There was another woman shopping there, and we looked at each other.  She was wearing a long down winter coat; I was wearing my fleece and winter hat.  "Only New Englanders would be dressed like this while plant shopping," she commented dryly. 

Ah, spring in New England.  It's been a rollercoaster of cold and rainy mixed with unexpectedly warm and sunny (that early thaw! that late freeze!), but it's made for a long season of spring blooms this year - especially for my favorites, the daffodils.


This year I got to go to the Daffodil Show at Tower Hill Botanical Garden in Boylston, Massachusetts.  It the first Daffodil Show I've seen, and while others said it was quite small this year, due to being in the middle of the week and a very rainy one at that, I loved it.  It was so interesting to see the different types of daffodils - and get ideas for which ones I want for next year...

Clockwise from top right:
Narcissus 'Actaea', Narcissus 'Sentinel', Narcissus 'Oh Wow',
collections of pink-cupped daffodils,
a split corona miniature! Narcissus 'Itsy Bitsy Splitsy',
Narcissus 'Crackington'
It was hard to pick a favorite out of the show, but I think Narcissus 'Chipper' has stolen my heart.  I just love this division of daffodils, called the Triandrus Daffodils, with their nodding heads and swept back petals.

Narcissus 'Chipper'
In honor of this nice long daffodil season, I've decided to highlight some of my favorites from my own garden this year.  They might not win a prize at an awards show, but I enjoy them nonetheless!  Here are my awards for just some of the beloved daffodils here at the Red House Garden:

The Earliest Daffodil Award:
(aka The Most Anticipated Daffodil)

Narcissus 'Rijnveld's Early Sensation'
The last days of winter are usually spent in eager anticipation of the first daffodil to bloom, and Narcissus 'Rijnveld’s Early Sensation' is usually it. This year they started blooming on March 11 and kept on blooming despite late snow and freezing weather.  Definitely an award winner in my book!

The Cutest Daffodil Award:

Narcissus 'Mite'
The pictures I have (taken on my phone) of the miniature 'Mite' Daffodils sadly do not do them justice.  These are teeny tiny little daffodils, and oh so adorable!

Congeniality Award:
(aka Plays Well With Others)

Narcissus 'Thalia'
Narcissus 'Thalia', another one of those beautiful Triandrus daffodils, is lovely just on her own.  However, I think when paired with some of the other spring blooming bulbs, 'Thalia' gets even prettier.

Narcissus 'Thalia' with 'Blue Giant' Glory-of-the-Snow
'Thalia' is especially nice for pastel-colored gardens, where yellow daffodils would be discordant.  I could also see it being great for a patriotic-themed garden with its pure white petals. 

The Showiest Daffodil Award:

Narcissus 'Replete''
The hands-down most luscious daffodil in my garden this year was the doubled Narcissus 'Replete'.  This unique garden diva has so much going on with all those petals!  The colored segments start out yellow-orange...


...and then turn a fabulous coral color.

Narcissus 'Replete'
Replete' is classified as a 'pink' daffodil; however, I would not call the color truly pink.  The coral fades to what I would call a shade of apricot or peach.  Either way, it is a very striking daffodil!

Narcissus 'Replete'

Most Unusual Looking Daffodil Award:
(aka Looks Least Like a Daffodil)

I was chatting with my mailman the other week, and he pointed to a patch of flowers and asked, "What are those flowers?"  "Daffodils," I answered.  "And what's that?" he pointed to some others.  "Daffodils."  "And that?"  "Also Daffodils."  This went on for several more iterations, much to the amusement of my mailman, who probably now thinks all the flowers in my garden are really just strange looking daffodils.

Narcissus 'Trepolo'
There are so many different types of daffodils now, and some are quite a far cry from the standard yellow trumpet variety.  There are some very unusual looking doubles (like my showiest daffodil 'Replete'), but I think the most unconventional looking daffodils are the Split Corona Daffodils, where the cup is split.

Narcissus 'Trepolo', a Split Corona Daffodil
Last year the Most Unusual Daffodil Award might have gone to Narcissus 'Trepolo' with its orange starburst of a center; however, this year it's been edged out by the new addition of the very undaffodil-looking Narcissus 'Electrus'.  Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more...

Narcissus 'Electrus'
Unusual and unexpected-looking daffodils are so much fun to have in the garden.  They add a different look, but are usually still as easy to grow and as critter-proof as the standard yellow trumpet varieties.

There are so many different and beautiful varieties of daffodils that it is easy to catch 'yellow fever', as it's called by daffodil lovers!  Daffodils are one of my favorite flowers, and I'm thankful that this year's season has lasted so long.  The first daffodil bloomed on March 11, and different daffodils were in bloom from then until now near the end of May.  My last to bloom, the miniature Narcissus 'Baby Moon', are finishing off the daffodil season with their diminutive, sweetly-scented flowers.

Narcissus 'Baby Moon'
That is, unless my rather sad-looking (but still alive!) 'Watieri' Daffodils decide to bloom.  (Narcissus 'Watieri', a white-flowering subspecies of daffodil that is native to the mountains of Morocco, is the lucky recipient of my Most Challenging to Grow Daffodil Award!)

Do you have a favorite daffodil?

Narcissus 'Baby Moon'
As always,
Happy Gardening!


34 comments:

  1. Is tete a tete with its twin heads in your collection?

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    1. Yes, I have a lot of Tete-a-Tetes planted in my hellstrips. Such a cute little daffodil!

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  2. You have quite a selection, there! I love Daffodils, and most years they perform quite well here, too. But the vagaries of weather were not kind to Daffodils in my part of Wisconsin this year. They bloomed, but they weren't as full as usual. Thanks for sharing photos of all these lovely varieties!

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    1. That is too bad. Our late freeze zapped many around here, but thankfully didn't do too much damage to mine.

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  3. You have so many beautiful daffodils, and I love that you made it to a daffodil show! I've wanted to for a few years but it's always so busy at this time of year and most shows require at least an hour's drive.
    This afternoon I was eyeing the daffodil patch and thinking I have a lot of digging to do. Email me if you're interested in adding a few new ones to your collection.

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    1. Oooo, I'm always looking to add new ones to the garden! I'll send an e-mail! That is too bad your shows are far away. I learned a lot about daffodils and propagating from some of the people there at the show. It was really interesting.

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  4. I love the minis, and the white ones. Also, the 'Hawera' Triandus ones I have are so delightful! Also, the ones with double petals...Okay, maybe I have more than a bit of yellow fever myself!

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    1. I was just looking at 'Hawera' in a catalog today! That yellow fever is easy to catch!

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  5. In my front garden I have small yellow daffodils. They bloomed in march. I love the varieties you have, especially Narcissus 'Baby Moon' and Narcissus 'Thalia'.

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    1. 'Thalia' has such a lovey shape to it, and the miniatures like 'Baby Moon' are just so cute! Spring just wouldn't be the same without some yellow daffodils!

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  6. I must try Thalia next year. I tend to head away from the 'usual' yellow daffodils, the blowsy big hybrids anyway. 'Actaea' is beautiful too.

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    1. 'Actaea' is beautiful. Several people had brought them to the show. My favorites are the ones with the more nodding heads, as they look more graceful and 'naturalistic' to me. I love the miniatures, too!

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  7. Replete and Electrus are VERY different.

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    1. A lot of people don't like these kinds because, well, they don't even look like a proper daffodil :)

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  8. I can see why the mailman asked about the flowers. There is so much variety in hybridizing the past few years. I have Replete in my garden. Now the daffs are gone with this heat, but I do know what you mean about plant shopping in winter gear. Many folks do that here too.

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    1. I guess it's a tradeoff for not having the extreme heat during the summer that they have down south. It's an internal debate for me since I've gardened in both - long but hot gardening season vs. nice and cool but short summers.

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  9. I do have a favorite daffodil but I have no clue what its name is. All of mine are simply called The Daffs. I suppose they actually do have names but no one's talking and I'm happy with their anonymity. I love Trepolo. Very cool!

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    1. I really like Trepolo, too. It's different, but a little more subtle than the big showy ones :)

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  10. Hello Indie!
    Amazing photos. I love daffodils. How many varieties. I do not know all. I am happy that I can watch them.
    Have a nice week.
    Regards.
    Lucja

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    1. It really is amazing how many varieties there are. Apparently there are thousands registered!

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  11. How nice to see such a great selection of daffodils! Narcissus 'Electrus' is amazing! As summer has arrived here, I think I am an entire season ahead of you!

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    1. Right now we are in that end of spring, early summer phase when the alliums are in bloom. I have family down South, and they tell me it's getting hot!

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  12. You've got a treasure trove of late winter happiness! I love all daffodils and your post has encouraged me to try some different ones again this fall. Electrus is on the list! However, my all time favorite has to be the single, old-fashioned yellow trumpet, earliest blooming sort. That bold yellow at the end of winter screams spring to me!

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    1. I agree! That's why that earliest blooming daffodil will always hold a place in my heart. After winter we just need some bright and cheerful color in the garden!

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  13. 'Electrus' is electrifying, I've never seen anything like it. You have a gorgeous collection, and you know all the names. This was a glorious year for daffodils here, too, we had a cool spring and the blooms lasted for weeks. I always hate to see spring end.

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    1. Very nice! It is hard to see spring end. Thankfully our early summer hasn't been too hot - hopefully it stays that way!

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  14. Wow. Beautiful daffodil collection you've got there.

    There's a woman a few blocks away from our house who does have an all-daffodil garden. I think she has at least a couple hundred varieties. I had the nice opportunity to take a tour there once. Nice to see her whole yard ablaze with yellow when I drive by in the spring! :)

    I have a question which betrays my own obsession -- Have you noticed whether any of the varieties you grow tend to be particularly attractive to pollinators?

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    1. That sounds like such a great garden to see! Hmmm, I haven't noticed about which ones attract pollinators. I don't see a lot of pollinators on my daffodils. Sometime the large bees will nectar rob them, and sometimes I see really little bugs go in them. I will have to keep an eye out. It would be really interesting to know if certain kinds attract more.

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  15. A daffodil show? Who knew? I would enjoy that. Love the daffs in your garden, too. With this year's crazy weather I had some late bloomers. My favorite is 'Tahiti.' P. x

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    1. It was very enjoyable! 'Tahiti' is gorgeous - it's on my list to get for planting this fall!

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  16. What a gorgeous variety of daffodils you have! No wonder your mailman had questions for you:) 'Mount Hood' has become one of my favorite pure white daffodils, but I have a lot of other favorites, too--I just wish I could remember the names of all the others!

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    1. I have a couple that look very similar, too, so I have trouble figuring out which is which. There are so many kinds!

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