Daffodil in the Parsley
There were small pockets of daffodils already on the property when we first came to live at Mooseys. Each year since then I've bought bag lots to fill spaces in the borders. I wish that I'd kept the labels, or at least memorised their names, but I haven't! I've deliberately kept my relationship with daffodils as simple as possible.
As a new country gardener with lots of space to fill I first bought bags of bright yellow long-trumpet varieties, those that I've now come to call "supermarket daffodils". They didn't work very well, as the flower-heads were too big for the stalks and the wind would lay them flat.
Nobody Stakes Daffodils!
Nobody stakes daffodils! But that first bulk purchase was fun, and it was cheap, and the results were fun, if a little unsubtle. I've progressed, moving to buying shorter more snub-nosed varieties, and trying the more unusual types and colour combinations as well.
Daffodils by the Front Fence
600 Mixed Bulbs
Last buying season I took away 600 mixed bulbs which I planted at the start of the driveway and at the roadside gate. This buying season I plan to have daffodils along the whole roadside fence-line. It's a welcome home message for us all, and a message of greetings to my neighbours driving past in their cars.
My initiation into the real world of daffodils came on a trip to a specialist local grower to view them in the fields. I walked up and down seeing all colours, and all shapes and styles of flower. It was an amazing experience - I didn't realise there were so many daffodil styles and colours.
Now each year I try and make the trip to buy new stocks. I am still pretty vague as to which types I want, but the owner helps me. I'm not ashamed to buy large bags of mixed bulbs either.
Miniature daffodils interest me, and I've planted lots of twenty or so of the common varieties available, always in the very front of borders by the house. They seem to be quite short lived, but this could be an illusion of scale. I must admit to sometimes being a little disappointed with them - sorry! In a garden of this scale they do get lost.
Daffodil foliage takes months and months to die, and by midsummer I tie the obvious leaf clumps in knots (and I feel guilty, because I've read that this is just not done). In my dreams I am totally organised, of course, with pots and pots of suitable camouflage plantings.
In reality I just don't quite get the timing right! The shovel and a spare bucket are used if the dying leaf clumps are too offensive.
I also grow daffodils in containers placed near to the house. These bulbs always bloom well, and are appreciated from inside. The pots and buckets just get moved to the back of the glass-house when the flowering is over.
More Bulbs Each Autumn
Bulb buying is a ritual part of my autumn gardening now. I know when the daffodil nurseries start advertising that winter is imminent. There's enough time to buy and plant, before the blanket of peastraw puts the garden to bed for the winter. Each year I've planted close to 1000 new bulbs, and there's plenty of room for more!