Happy St Patrick’s Day

I thought I was going to be really clever today and post a photo of the wonderful narcissus ‘St Patrick’s Day’ which I planted in a new patch of grass last autumn. Unfortunately, as the buds appeared last week I was getting suspicious about whether this really was the bulb I thought I had planted and yesterday, as the first flowers opened, my doubts were confirmed and instead of being this wonderful, pale yellow daffodil, so obviously the child of ‘Ice Follies’ and ‘Binkie’ the blooms are of an ordinary, bright yellow, short-cupped daffodil.

I have mentioned the problem of plants not being true to name before and it is especially common with bulbs. I have also been toying with the idea of mentioning my disappointment with a certain bulb supplier for many months especially as almost all the dahlias I got from them last year were riddled with virus and the cannas were so badly affected that I discarded them as soon as they emerged – the dahlias went the same way at the end of the season. But having planted 100 daffodils in the grass and now got the wrong ones growing I am going to say ‘Parkers, hang your head in shame’. Having bought a lot of bulbs last autumn I now wait for each to open with trepidation and I do not have high hopes for colour-coordinated bulb displays. I am not sure what to do with the allium ‘Spider’ that have come up as they are all badly virused, with half the leaf area pale yellow.

Narcissus 'Geranium'

Narcissus ‘Geranium’

But at least the ‘Geranium’ have grown and flowered true to name. I know this because some of the bulbs are not ‘Geranium’ at all but ‘Sir Winston Churchill’ (the double sport of ‘Geranium’. ‘Geranium’ is a fine narcissus with clusters of up to six fragrant flowers about 6cm wide with pure white tepals and a tangerine corona. It is a beautiful flower for cutting and I have planted some in the cutting garden where it is one of the latest to bloom. These flowers are on potted bulbs which, grown in gentle heat, are in flower a month before those outside. It is one of the Tazetta-type narcissus which include the popular ‘Paperwhite’ but it is hardier than most because it is a ‘poetaz’ which have N. poeticus in their ancestry which makes them more cold tolerant than true tazettas.

These narcissus are rather neglected in gardens but are well worth growing and especially good for cutting because of their vigour, often tall stems and their sweet fragrance. In addition to ‘Geranium’ (1930)  and ‘Sir Winston Churchill’ (1966), some of the best include ‘Bright Spot’ (1993), ‘Cragford’ (1930), ‘Dan du Plessis’ (1996), ‘Martha Washington’ (1927), ‘Matador’ (1958) and ‘Scarlet Gem’ (1910).

Not 'Saint Patrick's Day'

Not ‘Saint Patrick’s Day’


, , ,

3 Comments on “Happy St Patrick’s Day”

  1. joy
    March 17, 2014 at 6:15 pm #

    ouch not good Geoff . malc would have loved to see one hundred st patricks day its his birthday today

    • thebikinggardener
      March 17, 2014 at 6:19 pm #

      Ah. Well happy birthday – i hope you did something appropriate like had shamrock salad for lunch! Or a guinness or two


  1. The glory of tazettas and their kin | The Biking Gardener - April 6, 2020

    […] There is an older post here ‘Geranium’ […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sweetgum and Pines

gardening in the North Carolina piedmont

Ravenscourt Gardens

Learning life's lessons in the garden!

RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life

Paddy Tobin, An Irish Gardener

Our garden, gardens visited, occasional thoughts and book reviews


un altro blog sul giardinaggio...


four decades of organic vegetable gardening and barely a clue

The Long Garden Path

A walk round the Estate!

Botanical Journey from the South

Photographic Journals from the South

Flowery Prose

Welcome to Flowery Prose! Growing words about gardening, writing, and outdoor pursuits in Alberta, Canada.


Gardening on the edge of a cliff

Uprooted Magnolia

I'm Leah, a freelance Photographer born and raised in Macon, GA, USA. I spent 8 years in the wild west and this is my photo journal on life, love, and the spirit of Wyoming. Welcome to Uprooted Magnolia.

Interesting Literature

A Library of Literary Interestingness

Garden Variety

A Gardening, Outdoor Lifestyle and Organic Food & Drink Blog

For the Love of Iris

Articles, Tips and Notes from Schreiner's Iris Gardens

One Bean Row

Words and pictures from an Irish garden by Jane Powers

Plant Heritage

We are working to conserve the nations garden plants for people to use and enjoy today and tomorrow


An English persons experience of living and gardening in Ireland

%d bloggers like this: