A touch of the vapours?

It was my intention to post some daffodil photos for Easter but wet weather and a host of other things thwarted me. But I will do my best, though rather late, highlighting some of the new daffs in the garden this year.

First, ‘Over the Top’ a yellow trumpet (1 Y-Y). It sounds pretty unremarkable – a yellow trumpet daffodil. It was introduced, and registered, by Carlos van der Veek in 2021. He describes how, when visited by a friend he remarked ‘ “This is huge, I have never seen them like this. This is really just over the top.” I (Carlos) replied straight away with “Thank you, Rik, that will be her name then.”

When the first flowers opened for me I was a bit shocked. Not just by the size (130mm across) but the thick scapes and sheer ‘hugeness’ of the flower. I was almost offended by it. I looked at it with no more than curiousity. If a flower could be ‘vulgar’ then surely this was it. And that from someone who loves red hippeastrum! After the intial sock I realised that I was behaving like a Victorian schoolmistress that had just seen the bare legs of a piano and was about to be overcome by a ‘touch of the vapours’.

So I grabbed the smelling salts and stopped being so sensitive and picked some flowers so I could observe it every time I walked into the kitchen. And I grew more fond of it.

You can see the size of the thing here when compared with ‘Queen Beatrix’ (120mm) (left) and ‘Game Bird’ (right), both very nice trumpets in themselves. It is not, in any way, refined but is rather joyful in a ‘devil may care’ sort of way. The tepals are rather weak and all the energy of the flower goes into that massive trumpet that is ridiculously thick, frilled and fluted. Unfortunately, the snails seem to have made a ‘slime-line’ for it but that is not the plant’s fault. I have it in my ‘holding area’ for now and it will need careful placing when I come to replant in June because it will make lesser neighbours look decidedly pathetic in comparison.

And before I come to a trio of doubles, new to me this year, here is a second look at ‘Angel’s Breath’ which is rapidly becoming my favourite of the season. With its pastel colour, masses of flowers on each stem and delightful scent, it is a real winner. I combined it with what was supposed to be tulip ‘Bull’s Eye’ which it is not. ‘Bull’s Eye’ is supposed to be one of those strange, new tulips with an outer row of green petals and an eruption of bright petals in the centre. Actually, I am not that bothered because I find some of these, including the very popular ‘Ice Cream’ a bit too freakish, even for me.

Which brings me, quite nicely, to these doubles. I will start with ‘Popeye’ (4 W-Y) which is one of those weird doubles where all the extra petals are within the cup. In the ancient ‘Van Sion’ I quite relish this strangeness but I have a dislike for it in modern doubles. It is completely irrational. So it was rather more for the sake of curiosity than delight that I added this to the garden.

Curiosity is satisfied and it is not as bad as I feared. And the flowers are scented, which endears it to me a tiny bit more. I don’t love it but I do like it – in a Dick Emery sort of way – ‘you are awful – but I like you’.

And on to a more regular double; this one called ‘Golden Pearl’ (4 WWY-Y). What is curious is that, although the segments that are made of the cup are pale yellow on opening, they mature to a delicious peachy shade. The flowers are large but the stems are strong enough to hold them up and even face rather upwards, which is a good trait. Because of the colour change I find this an intriguing and very desirable daff.

And so to ‘Orange Juice’ (4 Y-O) which I think would be better called orange sorbet – the colour is not sharp enough to be juice..

The flowers are not heavily double, nor as neat as the best show flowers but they are large and get more ‘orange’ as they mature. It makes a very pleasant show and instills visions of Lady Mary’s satin nightie. All these mentioned have some scent but this is sweetly scented. Again, the stems are strong and hold the flowers well.

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3 Comments on “A touch of the vapours?”

  1. Paddy Tobin
    April 11, 2023 at 8:30 am #

    You are building up a great collection/selection and all are beautiful. How tall is ‘Angel’s Breath’? I think we saw it in grass in Lismore Castle Gardens last week where it was very small – and very attractive.

    • thebikinggardener
      April 11, 2023 at 8:36 am #

      It is odd – the foliage reaches about 25cm first, thin and grassy, and then the flower scapes appear. The flowers start to open at about 15cm but they extend as the flowers develop and are about 25cm now. I see that there are secondary scapes coming up on some bulbs too. The pot contains 20 bulbs – put in quite close because they are in a pot and will be recanted in the garden when they start to die down. It has been in bloom for several weeks now and still looks fresh so I think it is a good one.

  2. Paddy Tobin
    April 11, 2023 at 3:18 pm #

    Certainly, a good one but not the miniature I had imagine it to be.

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