Posts Tagged ‘spring bulbs’

Narcissus ‘February Gold’

March 30, 2016

‘February Gold’ must be one of the best of all the daffodils. True, there are a couple of others that flower even earlier, but they are not so freely available. I made a planting last October and they were in flower before the end of January and have only just gone over. I made a second planting at the turn of the year (garden centre bargain – all bulbs half price), and these began flowering only at the start of March. But they are still going strong. Next year, I expect all to flower simultaneously.

Narcissus_February_Gold_closeup

Not only is this daffodil good and early – it also has considerable style. Admittedly the flowers are of the typical brassy yellow, but that’s a welcome colour on miserable February days when the usual snowdrops and hellebores can look a little pallid. What distinguishes it (for me) is its elegant habit. Dwarf it is not, the stems extending to a good 30cm (12in) or more, and the trumpets (technically coronas) are long and narrow, the perianth segments, or petals, nicely reflexing without looking as though they have been through a wind tunnel. And it is much more robust than it appears, standing up to heavy rain, wind and late frosts. I shall definitely be planting more later this year.

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Narcissus ‘Actaea’

May 2, 2010

The daffs have pretty much finished now, but rounding them off is possibly my favourite, Actaea. This is rather similar in appearance to the species poeticus var. recurvus – the pheasant’s eye narcissus – but being a hybrid has somewhat larger flowers and a generally more robust appearance.

Actaea has glistening, sweetly fragrant flowers and is one of the last daffodils to flower

They are glistening white with a very shallow, bright orange cup, added to which, they are delightfully scented – much fresher than the hyacinths, which are also flowering now. Be sure to order some in the autumn if you do not already grow it.