My mind is buzzing with narcissus. This is partly because they are starting to make a real impact in the garden now, after a lot of autumn planting, but also because I have been looking at online specialists to get more. You will discover what I have bought in a year or two but, apart from getting a lot of historical daffs I am also getting a lot more tazettas and poetaz daffs.
The tazettas are recognised by their vigour, sweet smell and stout stems with many, small flowers, usually in shades of white and yellow. The best known is ‘Paperwhite’ but don’t let that put you off. In general they are not the hardiest of narcissi and they are associated with the south west in the UK but they should do well in the whole of Ireland.
The best known of the garden tazettas is ‘Geranium’ (daft name I know). Just to complicate matters, this is actually a Poetaz. This is a sub group within the Tazettas that arise from a hybrid of N. tazetta and ‘Ornatus’ a pheasant’s eye narcissus. These tend to have improved hardiness and presumably ‘Ornatus’ brought the red rim of the cup to the new plants – as seen in ‘Chinita’ above.
But before I bog myself down in nomenclature, I love ‘Geranium’. It is a fast grower, the flowers are bright and happy and new stems pop up over several weeks to provide lots of flowers for the house – which is good because they smell wonderful. It dates back to 1930.
There is an older post here ‘Geranium’
Beside it (above) is ‘Chinita’ which is even older (1922). It is a tall flower with one or two blooms per stem. It is a more subtle plant, slender and not a great wodge of colour like ‘Geranium’. It is perfect for cutting and I love the pale colouring and the fragrance of the flowers.
Both these and their kin prefer a warm, sunny spot and are possibly not ideal for naturalising in grass. Mine will be planted under the plum and pear trees – when I get the bulbs!
8 – a bit tall and has less presence