Six on Saturday | Hello Spring!

Yesterday was the spring equinox! So this week I am celebrating with the Narcissus! They are such cheerful harbingers of spring and often highly scented too. With the longer daylight, although not so much more sunshine, everything in the garden is beginning to wake up after the very long winter sleep. I say everything, but two clematis are not showing any signs of coming back. They were new last year and one is in a container, the other in the ground. I shall be very disappointed if they die, not least because one from Sarah Raven was quite very expensive.

Last autumn I went a bit mad with buying spring bulbs including several varieties of narcissus / daffodils, which brings me to my first point – what is the difference?  In general, “daffodil” refers to the large-flowered varieties, “narcissus” to small-flowered and early-blooming types bearing clusters of blossoms, and “jonquil” denotes N. jonquilla, often with fragrant, yellow flowers. The flowers are divided into two parts: the perianth, made up of six outer petal segments, and the corona in the centre, shaped like a trumpet or cup (depending on length).

I bought a collection of rockery bulbs and some of the larger daffodils for my raised bed. Here are six that are flowering at the moment. Some, like the early ‘February Gold‘ and ‘Tête-à-tête‘ have just about finished, but I have others that have yet to open so all in all my bulbs will have lasted for 3-4 months.

(1)  Narcissus ‘Martinette’ (40cm) is a brightly coloured daffodil with a small orange cup and several flowers on each stem and very scented. Tazzetta daffodils or narcissus are perfect if you are looking for fragrance in the garden, they have a delicious scent that fills the air. I planted these in pots and they are in the sun and have been flowering for weeks.

(2)Toto‘ is a white flowered form of ‘Tête-à-tête(15cm) which will thrill you with its prolific display of  delicate pure white flowers with soft creamy-yellow cups. It has multi-flowered stems so they do actually look as though they are having a conversation. These are also in a pot and are last year’s bulbs that I removed after the foliage died down and re-potted in September.

(3) Narcissus triandrus ‘Thalia’  (30cm) was very much loved by the Victorians and has an understated elegance. It looks especially good in large swathes.  The multi-headed trumpet daffodil emerges from its bud a greeny-white and opens to reveal a delightful, pure white fragrant flower.

(4) Narcissus ‘Pueblo’ (30cm) is a jonquil daffodil that opens soft, primrose yellow. As the flowers mature, the cup stays yellow and the petals fade to creamy white. It is also heavily scented and weather resistant. Which, as you can see from these photos, is just as well.

(5) Minnow  is a dwarf (15-20cm) variety of daffodil with up to six flowers on each stem consisting of pale buttermilk yellow cups and creamy-white perianths segments. It is a charming and delicate looking flower and well suited to a container or a rockery.

(6) Narcissus tazetta  ‘Geranium’ (35cm) bears clusters of 3-6 flowers per stem, adorned with creamy-white petals and deep orange-red cups, Tazetta daffodils have relatively broad leaves.

I hope you have enjoyed my little rays of sunshine, I only wish I could share the scents with you as some of them are delicious. I am beginning to appreciate these flowers as much or maybe even more than tulips. They seem to withstand the elements better in my wet and windy place. But the tulips are on their way so soon we’ll be able to compare. As always, if you want a peek over other people’s garden walls then please pop over to our host, the lovely Jon, AKA ‘The Propagator’ where you find links to many more wonderful garden enthusiasts from all over the world.

See here for the participant’s guide.

Six on Saturday

83 Comments Add yours

  1. BeckyB says:

    oh these narcissus are gorgeous, can almost smell them from here. I sent 60 in the post to Mum earlier this week, her favourite flower 🙂 I think I might order a few more just for me!

    PS two of my clematis also showing no signs of life but a third definitely thinks it spring. I’d just decided my dormant ones were just that as it has been cold these past few weeks

    1. Heyjude says:

      Yes, I’m hoping that the clematis will make a comeback. I think I will move the one in the pot. Maybe even plant it in the ground. How is your mum coping?

      1. BeckyB says:

        The garden is keeping her going I think, she is really not enjoying her loss of independence with regards walking to the shops when she wants. However her freezer is full and her phone/emails are apparently not stopping so she is good. The neighbours are also being fabulous 🙂

        I am just relieved she is where she is and not with us. Hampshire’s confirmed cases number are worst that most of the London boroughs at the moment, and that’s excluding Portsmouth and Southampton 😦

        1. Heyjude says:

          I’m just hoping that all the visitors arriving in Cornwall from the south east aren’t bringing the virus with them. Although some holiday parks are closed people are coming to their second homes, and still coming to holiday cottages. Extra burden on local shops and potentially the NHS.

        2. BeckyB says:

          Grrrrr! I just don’t get people . . .don’t they realise what they are doing. Apparently Parisians have been doing the same in France 😦

        3. Heyjude says:

          And North Norfolk. 😕

        4. BeckyB says:

          Really?! OMG…..we are really going to end up like Italy if we’re not careful.

        5. BeckyB says:

          Hopefully today is the day people finally begin to see sense xxxx

  2. What a gorgeous array of yellows – certainly lifts the spirits! 🙂

  3. Love their happy colors and beautiful shapes–thank you!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Yes, they are definitely happy flowers!

  4. janesmudgeegarden says:

    I’ve learnt something new, Jude, for in my gardening ignorance I thought narcissus was the ‘proper’ name and not the name of one branch of the family. Yet again I will have incorrectly labelled bulbs in my garden. Sigh.
    Your photos are delightful, a lovely collection of spring joy. I have bought some Thalia this year and am trying to decide whether I should put them in the ground or in a pot where I can easily keep track of them. Pots are a bit of a problem here as they dry out so much as you can imagine.
    Re people travelling around when they should be staying at home, you’ve no doubt seen the photos of thousands of people on Bondi Beach on Saturday. Madness. Beaches are closed now.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I did see the Bondi pictures, it was pretty terrible, maybe the young people think they are invincible? Just because it is mainly the older generation who are dying doesn’t mean they won’t need the same intensive care and ventilators. People have been flocking to the Cornish beaches today too and I saw more people on ‘my’ hill (19) today than I have probably seen in total in the four years I have lived here! Fortunately everyone was in family groups and kept their distance from us. My Thalia are in the ground so it will be interesting to see if they come back next year as I won’t be digging them up. I thought they were supposed to be scented, but I had a sniff today and couldn’t detect anything.

      1. janesmudgeegarden says:

        Young people do tend to think they’re indestructible!

  5. Tina Schell says:

    I love the narcissus Jude, their scent is so distinct and beautiful- a real harbinger if spring. Hope the sun is shining in your world

    1. Heyjude says:

      Sun is shining and nowhere to go 😕 At least I can hang the washing out for the first time this year!

  6. As we head further into autumn I’m enjoying seeing all your spring blooms unfurl.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Luckily I have some tulips on the way, as you’re going to have to look around my garden (and the lanes) for flowers this year!

  7. Gorgeous Jude. Lovely photo’s. Hope all is well down there and you keep all the interlopers to the minimum in Cornwall. I will be destitution Narcissus next week. Stay safe.

  8. Catherine says:

    What a lovely collection of Narcissus. I particularly like Narcissus ‘Martinette’, and seeing Thalia reminds me that I planted some in the autumn (I’m sure I did!) but I don’t see any sign of them. Perhaps I meant to and didn’t – I might have to crawl around looking at labels. Sigh.

    I also have a couple of clematis that are not growing, they both suffered clematis wilt last year. I was hopeful that they’d return, they are both Clematis ‘Fond Memories’ and I’d hate to lose them. Hope yours gives you a pleasant surprise.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Catherine, I’m currently looking out for N. Sir Winston Churchill! I have a plan to show where I planted the bulbs, but now I’m not sure if I did actually plant them in that spot or in a pot! As for the clematis, one has started to grow, but the one in the pot isn’t yet.

      1. Catherine says:

        A plan sounds so organised. I tend to just take photographs in the hope that I’ll be able to find the files the following year. In theory that should work well, but the reality is that I have many thousands of photo files and it often turns into a frustrating task, even though I have a firm date-organised file system! Hope clematis no 2 performs!

  9. Such lovely sunny yellows, cheering up our dark world!

    1. Heyjude says:

      They are certainly cheering me up. And now 🌷 are appearing 🌷

  10. Pure sunshine in a picture

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