I was going to post about spreading manure today but then I thought something prettier was due for what is promised to be a warmer day than we have had of late. Winter has been a pathetic affair compared to what the USA has been experiencing but frosts and icy winds have made working outside far from pleasant. The bitterly cold winds have, apparently, come from Canada. Well sorry to be ungrateful but you can keep it!
So, we have a cute little daffodil called ‘Rip Van Winkle’. Allegedly of Irish origin, this little beauty has been known since at least 1884 and is one of the most widely available dwarf or miniature daffs, usually reaching just 15 cm high. It seems to have been a natural sport of either Narcissus pseudonarcisus or N. minor. The latter seems the most likely because N. pseudonarcissus has a larger flower and also the six tepals (petals) are a paler shade than the trumpet and that would give a flower with bright and pale yellow segments in the double flower. In ‘Rip Van Winkle’ the flowers are composed of many, narrow segments to make a dense, starry flower. I must admit that, when I look at it I am reminded of a dandelion. It seems odd that most gardeners spend a lot of their life eradicating dandelions but pay good money to plant a daffodil that looks like a dandelion!
But, in its favour this is a tough, early and long-lived little gem that makes a pretty cut flower too. Like most doubles, the flowers are a bit heavy for the stems and they sometimes hang perilously close to the soil where they tease the slugs with their tender, tasty petals.