Posts Tagged ‘spring bulb’

Delightful double daffodil

August 30th, 2019 | Plant Talk with Graham Rice | 0 Comments

Narcissus 'Tete Boucle'

Leafing through the Mr F Autumn 2019 Seed and Plant catalogue this morning, I came across a daffodil I’d never heard of – and it looks lovely!

Now I’m not a big fan of many double flowered daffodils, too often they lack that true essence of what really makes a daffodil. But the dainty little ‘Tête Bouclé’ is different. And when I tell you that it’s related to one of the world’s all time favourite daffs, ‘Tête-à-Tête’, you’ll know I’m being serious.

‘Tête Bouclé’ has small double flowers in bright yellow with orange tints towards the centre. It only reaches about 20cm in height and the stems are strong enough to support what, with all those extra petals, is a relatively heavy flower.

It carries one or, less frequently, two flowers per stem. ‘Tête-à-Tête’ tends to produce either one or two flowers per stem – not guaranteed pairs – and ‘Tête Bouclé’ probably produces more stems with just one flower. But the flowers are so pretty that we don’t really care.

‘Tête Bouclé’ was discovered by Dutch amateur daffodil enthusiast Jan de Winter about ten years ago, one his ‘Tête-à-Tête’ bulbs suddenly produced a double flower and he was smart enough to mark it and separate it out, then to bulk it up.

Why not plant ‘Tête Bouclé’ with plants of Viola ‘Sorbet XP Neptune’ for a lively spring display.

Daffodils with perfume

September 7th, 2018 | Plant Talk with Graham Rice | 0 Comments

Narcissus 'Actaea'

Many people love daffodils. A few people hate daffodils. But most of us like some daffodils and not others.

I’m a big fan but there are some daffodils that drive me mad. The ones whose trumpets look as if they’ve been hit by a brick, for example, and also the big blowsy yellow ones, like good old ‘King Alfred’ – when they’re planted in the grass along a country lane. They just look so out of place! In a container, or in a clump on a colourful spring border, ‘King Alfred’ looks great. But please, if you want to plant some daffs by your village name sign, choose a variety that looks a little more natural – best of all, our native British wild daffodil.

The other thing about our wild daffodil is that it has a lovely fragrance and that’s a daffodil feature that we tend to forget. Some are scented, some are not. Wouldn’t you choose a fragrant variety if you could? And for a container, where it’s easier to get your nose close to the blooms, or when you want to cut some for the house, fragrance is a huge bonus.

The strongly scented ‘Actaea’ (above) is one of my favourites in pure white with a tiny yellow trumpet edged in red plus a neat white zone between. ‘Geranium’, with its vivid orange cup, is similar. The dainty, and usefully late flowering ‘Hawera’ in primrose yellow is lovely crowding a terracotta pot as is ‘W. P. Milner’, with its straw coloured flowers that fade to white. And all with that lovely daffodil fragrance.

September is planting time, better get those bulbs ordered.