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A Host of Golden (and yellow, cream, white, orange and pink) Daffodils
Member Name: jammaker49
Date: 20/03/02, updated on 20/03/02 (207 review reads)
Advantages: Blaze of colour , Heralds spring.
It is no secret on here that I love my onions! I grow fruit and vegetables, and use the fruit for jam, and the vegetables, for....well whatever you use vegetables, for! However, this op is about the uneatable onion. The bulbs that will eventually grow into Daffodils and narcissi.
When you hear the word daffodil, you (or at least I did) immediately think of the yellow-trumpeted plant that grows at around this time each year, and can be found in gardens, parks and hedgerows all over the place. Strictly speaking, the daffodil is just one member of the Narcissi family, of which there are numerous members.
Daffodils and Narcissi herald the return of spring. From February onwards, they can be seen, brightening up an otherwise colourless landscape. Just a few at first, and then almost overnight a complete blanket of them, swaying in the wind, and gracing many a windowsill.
This year, my front garden, which is not very large, is an absolute blaze of colour, and it all comes from daffodils and Narcissi. Many people remark on it, because you see, we have so many different varieties growing, ranging from purest white, through yellow, to a deep orange colour.
So how did we acquire all these different varieties of one species?
For several years, we holidayed on the Isles of Scilly, off the coast of Cornwall. Scilly enjoys a balmy climate, and rarely sees a frost. Consequently, plants flower much earlier than they do on the Mainland. Many of the very early daffs and narcissi found in our shops will have been flown over from the islands, and much of the industry in the islands is based on the flower growing.
Each year we went there, we returned home with at least one net full of either mixed narcissi bulbs or a couple of nets full of a single variety.
Bulbs in the island can be bought very cheaply. The usual way of selling them is to place nets full of bulbs on a barrow outside the farm gate, with a notice about vari
eties and prices, and a slot for the money at the back of the barrow! You help yourself, and drop your money in the slot!
In the autumn, we would plant the bulbs, usually in clumps, and from then on, they take care of themselves.
In simplistic terms, bulbs multiply by creating baby bulbs from existing bulbs. The following year, the baby bulbs flower alongside the parent bulbs, and then reproduce babies of their own. You CAN dig the bulbs up, separate them, and replant them singly later in the year, but we simply leave them in the ground and let nature do the rest.
The result is astounding. This about the sixth year now, since we planted the first batch of bulbs, and the display of different varieties, sizes and colours has to be seen to be believed.
Our first flower opened in the last week of January, and we have some coming up that will not be flowering for another few weeks yet. So we have had a constant supply of flowers for months rather than weeks. At the moment, the early varieties are dying off, and those which flower later are just coming into their own.
Looking into my garden, I can count at least nine different varieties, all blooming at the same time. We have the usual yellow daffs,and a variety that is exactly the same as a common daffodil, but pure white. I have white ones with orange trumpets. There are three kinds of multi-headed flowers. There is a double-headed variety that is a rich creamy colour, and there is one variety that has a pink tinge.
All the different varieties have different names, including Avalanche, Pink Lady and Soleil d'Or. With so many different hues, they really do bring a touch of sunshine every time we step outside the front door.
I now find, as we either walk out, or go for a ride in the car, I notice the flowers in gardens much more than I used to. I look to see if there are any unusual varieties of common plants, and make a note if there are any that really c
atch my eye.
So next time you look at a "host of golden daffodils" remember, they don't only come in plain old yellow. There is much more to the daffodil family than meets the eye!
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