January 23, 2019

Caroline’s Garden Diaries 15.4.13 : It’s Here!

Spring has sprung! Can’t go back to miserable winter now – a tide of yellow is covering the land, the daffodils are coming. Also forsythia, primroses and celandines. If celandines weren’t wild flowers we’d buy them in hundreds, they’re so beautifully bright and shiny, but instead because they are so good at growing, like the Cuckoo pint, we try to keep them out of the garden. But we’ve certainly splurged on the daffodils, they’re everywhere, along verges, on village greens, in pots, in every garden, and of course, in York, on the Walls.

I’m afraid I get a bit grumpy seeing Tete-a-Tete used all over the place; I love this little daffodil but not in straight lines along a verge. It’s a matter of taste, of course, and to my eyes, Tete-a-Tete looks much better in places of the right scale, nestling under taller shrubs or in the front of borders between shoots of perennials just emerging. It gets put everywhere because it’s easy, cheap and tough, will thrive anywhere and multiply (funny how that’s OK for a daffodil but not for a celandine or a spotted arum) – qualities that make it a good flower to grow for cutting. A little vase of two or three Tete-a-Tetes together with the first forget-me-nots, Pulmonaria or even a late crocus is so pretty.

Another paradox: with snowdrops I don’t care what varieties I grow as long as I’ve got lots, but with daffodils, I am much more selective – maybe one’s grateful for anything that flowers in January and February, or maybe the differences between snowdrops are scarcely visible. So with daffodils, I prefer the smaller ones akin to our native Lenten Lily, such as W.P. Milner, and the ones that look slightly frightened, such as Dove Wings or Jenny – a beautiful pale daffodil that lasts and lasts and reminds me of good friends.


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