In order that this does not become too specialised (wait till the hostas are up!) this will be the last narcissus post for a while. But they are still going strong in the garden and I must say that I will miss them a lot when they finally do finish. Being a fledgling garden there is going to be a gap for a while as far as colour is concerned.
But one daff is just starting to open and it is one that I have wanted to grow for a long time but never actually planted which is strange as it is so distinctive and unusual. ‘Ambergate’ is a large-cupped daff (2 O-O) with orange petals and cup. They are not quite the same shade and the cup is much deeper in colour but it is definitely an orange daff. Despite its novel appearance it is hardly new – it was raised in the UK by Dennis Milne before 1950. Curiously, its parents show no signs of the rich colouring, being yellow and orange on both sides and also white and red on the female (seed) side. So it must have been a very happy moment when it first flowered in the seedling bed. It is classified as a late daff but mine are possibly later than average because I have it planted in part shade – although you may read that it is sunproof that is not quite true and I don’t want that cup to bleach so I have erred on the side of caution. Curiously, the other common orange daff is ‘Sabine Hay’ by the same breeder but 20 years later. It is possibly better, with a smoother perianth but you have to leave something to buy next year!
Oddly, the colour does not show in this photo so I took another of some I picked. But even these do not look as orange and it really is as I look at them in a vase in the house.
And, lastly, I had the idea to plant miniature daffs in grass either side of my formal bedding area. It is a mix of ‘Kokopelli’, a yellow jonquil with rich scent, rather like ‘Sundial’, ‘Minnow’ which is a primrose yellow tazetta and ‘Segovia’ which is a tiny small-cupped daff, the latter two raised by Alec Gray in the 1960s. I mixed in some muscari for good luck. They have not done that well, partly I think because of the wet winter and the planting holes were full of water some of the time. Also, I find that miniatures can take a while to settle in – and you need a lot of them to make a show!
But they are getting better by the day and I think they will be fine in a year or two.