On the second day – it stopped raining

It has been a rotten week. Day after day of rain and howling winds. And then it stopped on Sunday and we actually went for a walk. And Monday I had to get some gardening done. The place looks pretty battered but a few plants are making a real effort. By the time you read this it will be raining again and the wind will have stopped me sleeping, again. But let’s remember the warmth and sunshine of Monday.

On the bend of the drive, in the grass, a couple of daffs are blooming. This is their second year and they seem well established. They are ‘Ice Baby’ and ‘Mary Poppins’; two very different narcissus but a very similar colour.

In the foreground are a couple of flowers of ‘Ice Baby’ which I bought as ‘Snow Baby’ which, it appears is not the correct name. It is a tiny, white trumpet narcissus, classified as 1 W-W. This shows how misleading the classification can be because that class includes all the big white trumpets like ‘Mount Hood’. The American connection continues because this is bred by Brent and Becky Heath in Virginia. It is quite a recent plant, registered in 2014 and is a little cutie, just 10cm high. The flowers fade a little as they mature and the flowers are held horizontally. It would be fairer to the poor things to be planted in a rock garden where I could appreciate the flowers better but it seems quite happy where it is. The flowers open slightly later than its neighbour, ‘Mary Poppins’.

‘Mary Poppins’ is a Bulbododium hybrid (Class 11) and also American, this time from Oregon, registered in 2015. The Bulbocodium narcissi, with their tiny perianth and huge, inflated corona, were always alpine house plants to my mind but recent developments seem to have produced really garden-worthy cultivars that are easier to grow. These are in nasty, heavy soil. It drains well in summer and has the nearest Ireland can get to a summer baking, and they are doing well. It has been in bloom for several weeks now and after the first flowers fade there are new buds being pushed up to keep the colour going. I have grown the similar ‘Spoirot’ before and can’t compare them side-by-side but this little cutie has convinced me that I should try some more Bulbocodiums.

Back to veg tomorrow!

4 Comments on “On the second day – it stopped raining”

  1. Paddy Tobin
    February 23, 2021 at 7:39 pm #

    I’m very surprised to see N. bulbocodium growing in grass – wonderful to see it.

    We had two days respites from the rain but it came back with a vengeance.

    • thebikinggardener
      February 24, 2021 at 8:24 am #

      Well I tried ‘Spoirot’ in the lawn at the ‘job’ and it did well so it spurred me to try it at home and ‘Mary Poppins’ is supposed to be vigorous so I gave it a go and it seems quite happy. Yes – we are well soaked again!

  2. Meriel
    February 24, 2021 at 12:44 pm #

    Nice. A real harbinger of Spring. I thought bulbocodiums needed acid soil – but perhaps your’s is?

    • thebikinggardener
      February 24, 2021 at 1:54 pm #

      I am not sure if they need acid soil or not though I do have acid soil – if you can call it soil. I hope your garden is coming along nicely. It is pleasantly mild but still raining.

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