The Weekly Gardener 1


Daffodil Gardens

Special Hybrids


I know this is a task for October and not February, but since the weather turned sour and put the excitement for gardening activities on hold again I thought I'd put together a list of interesting daffodil varieties to consider next fall.

Flower Drift is a double daffodil with pure white petals and a bright coral center, intensely fragrant.

My Story is a light pink variety with an ruffled salmon pink middle. Fragrant.

Apricot Whirl has a split corona which makes it look more like a day lily than a daffodil, including the pure pink color.

Hoop Petticoat is white and trumpet shaped with bright yellow stamens poking out. The outside petals are wispy rays growing around the center.

Rip Van Winkle looks like an exploding star, with countless yellow shards spiking in all directions.

Petit Fours are pure pink with no hint of yellow; their double middle is baby pink, slightly darker than the barely blush exterior petals. Also fragrant.

Cassata has a split bright yellow corona overlaid on almost white exterior petals. It matures to pure white.

I am very fond of the classic yellow jonquils, and there is no lack of them in my garden. The older ones have naturalized and formed large clumps that delight me with bloom during the whole month of April.


The Daffodil Garden Layout


I've only seen daffodil gardens in public parks and plant conservatories, gardeners usually grow these lovely spring bulbs in mixed borders, where their fading foliage can be concealed by the fresh growth of the summer perennials after they are done blooming.

The basic layout of a daffodil garden is very simple: in the fall plant bulbs in layers, according to their height, color and blooming time, to ensure continuous sprays of flowers in all shapes and sizes from March till May. There are also very special varieties that bloom during the summer, and even in the fall, for those who love daffodils so much they can't wait for the next spring to come along.

There is no hiding from the fact that daffodil foliage looks very unattractive after their flowers fade, so if there is nothing else growing on the site for the rest of the year you'll have to find another way to distract the view from it, like a natural hedge or a flowering trellis.

Feed the soil the same way you would any other perennial and water regularly, a task that seems absurd in the absence of visible plant parts, but bulbs need plenty of water and will shrivel up to nothing when they don't get it. I learned that the hard way.