Two of my favorite bulb catalogs arrived today, and that set my mind to dreaming. The photos and descriptions are so tempting and tantalizing that before I got carried away with ordering, I knew I should review my notes for bulb performance this spring. Thankfully, I took extensive notes. The tulip parade was reviewed in a prior post, “Tulip Evaluation,” so this will include the others. I didn’t plant as many daffodils/narcissus as tulips, because there were already plenty in the gardens around the house, so only the front border of the potager needed their cheery blossoms. Since daffodils nearly always return, I won’t be ordering many more. However, after watching their performance, I thought you might be interested in which ones did best, especially if you are considering adding more to your own gardens.
“Kedron” was the one I was most interested in seeing bloom, because the flower color, an amber-tinged apricot with a deep orange trumpet would best match my color scheme. (It’s not as yellow “in person” as shown in the photo.) The flower color is good, however the blooms are small. What I most disliked was their height, which was over 24″ despite the catalog listing of 12″, which caused me to plant them toward the front of the border. That, of course, turned out to be poor placement and made them look awkward. I won’t add more and feel compelled to dig them up to relocate them further back in the border where their height is more appropriate.
“Rijnveld’s Early Sensation” was not the first to bloom, but the large 3″ golden flowers were impressive. I put them in the Addition Garden, where their cheery color could be viewed from our bedroom window. 12-14″ If I wanted more plain gold, I’d probably order more, but I prefer the following varieties.
“Vanilla Peach” was a gorgeous split-cup narcissus. Lightly scented, 4″ flowers that opened white and matured to pale yellow with layers of apricot segments. Strong stems held the heavy flowers upright, which has been a problem with others of this type in my past, and they were very long-lasting as a cut flower. 16″
“Topolino” was adorable in the Fairy Garden, with it’s creamy-yellow petals and bright yellow cup. I will definitely use more of them in the front of borders throughout the gardens, where their petite 5″ height and pretty blooms can be appreciated fully. I think I’ll add some to my patio planters, too.
The absolute winner was “Delnashaugh”which not only had outstandingly beautiful double blooms but easily were the longest-lasting of the daffodils. They not only bloomed with the bulk of the tulips, helping make the border full and lush, but continued to look fresh and pretty during the gap after the tulips were gone. They still looked amazing on May 21st. As pictured, the blooms are 4″ fully double filled, frilly cream flowers with frilled apricot cup segments tucked throughout. 18” tall with strong stems that held up to our wind storms. I’m definitely ordering more for the new Island Bed, and the shrub additions (more about those new areas later!)
Another big winner were the Silverbells, Ornithogalum nutans. Their 12″ stems of white bells with delicate green streaks filled another gap in the bloom schedule. They grow best in semi-shade, so happily performed on the north side of the potager fence, prettily filling that area before the foxgloves took over the show. They were also delightful in the Fairy Garden. I’ll order more for other partly shaded areas.