The National Garden Bureau has proclaimed 2017 the Year of the Daffodil. Every year the organization selects one perennial, one annual, one bulb and an edible to feature. The daffodil is this year's bulb choice. You can read all about it, including care tips, here. Since I love daffs I am jumping on this bandwagon to share a few of my favorites that I grow in my garden.
You may notice one quirky thing about all my daffodil flowers: they're white or cream and not bright yellow. Those big bright yellow daffodils just don't do it for me. I want more charm, more delicacy and a little horticultural history with my bulbs. So, naturally, I grow Pheasant's Eye or Poet's Narcissus (N. poeticus 'recurvus) which was first mentioned in the 1600s. This daffodil is late, naturalizes and is scented.
When I discovered Narcisssus 'Dreamlight' I was smitten. I've been growing this beauty for ten years. Old House Gardens, where I bought this variety, calls 'Dreamlight' a "platinum blonde pheasant's eye" which I consider a perfect description.
I grow enough daffodils that I feel free to cut them for bouquets like this one which includes N. 'Dreamlight', N. 'Rose of May' (a double variety), stems of Epimedium and Hellebores flowers turning green and going to seed.
This is N. 'Sinopel' which looks very yellow in bud and, indeed, opens with yellow-washed petals on the back and front. The eye is very yellow which is how it presents in cooler temps. When it is warmer or it is indoors, it tends to be a bit more green.
This bulb combo in the driveway garden bloomed for the first time last spring and it is a winner in my book: Muscari armeniacum 'Saffir,' which is sterile so the florets don't open and Narcissus 'W.P. Milner'.
My idea of yellow daffodils! Flowers in this group include Narcissus 'Beersheba' (1923), N. moschatus (1604) and N. 'W.P. Milner' (1869). 'Beersheba' is the largest one and its trumpet opens yellow and quickly fades to cream. Also in the grouping are Helleborus Royal Heritage Strain and H. 'Sympathy'. There's a spray of Dicentra spectabalis foliage and a stem of Hyacinth 'City of Haarlem'.