Happy ‘first day of spring’! The day started beautifully this morning with clear blue skies and a touch of frost on the grass but, by lunchtime it had changed and this afternoon it seemed more like winter with cold winds and driving rain. It did give me a chance to take some more photos of Corydalis ‘Beth Evans’ though and I updated yesterday’s page. And although the wind treated the daffodils brutally, some of the new ones have stood up to it perfectly.
I think that people don’t always put the right daffodils in grass, especially in shade. Those big yellow trumpets, and especially any doubles (with a few exceptions such as ‘Van Sion’) not only look out of place in grass but they have trouble staying upright, especially when ‘drawn’ by poor light. That is not to say I don’t like the more spectacular and showy daffs because I do, but they are not the right ones for naturalising.
So among the hundreds planted last autumn I am delighted that some were true to name and are making a good show in their first year. One of the nicest so far has been ‘Surfside’. I have a soft spot for any daffodil that has the delightful and cute Narcissus cyclamineus in its ancestry and this one has this moisture-loving species as its father. The pod parent is Mitsch’s ‘Oratario’ and it was bred by the accomplished hybridiser of exceptional and extraordinary daffodils, Grant Mitsch of Oregon. Registered in 1972 it is a modern daff and has been awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit.
With its white perianth (six petals) and pale yellow trumpet, that fades as it ages, it is a real crowd pleaser and the large flowers are held on sturdy stems about 30cm high. It is apparently named for its perianth that flows back like a wave. The name is certainly appropriate and catchy and I think this should become much more popular in time, being dwarf enough for pots, distinctive in appearance and seemingly sturdy.