Very mellow yellow …white even

We have already begun to see a little bit more sunlight encouraging the best of all the harbingers of spring: the daffodils, we love them. Already you can buy them cut and packaged into neat bundles, like little soldiers, in the shops ready to take home and vase up. Within a day your home is a blast of yellow froth with that lovely mild scent that tells us it’s not long now.

The same old question comes up every year: what’s the difference between a daffodil and a narcissus? The answer is absolutely none, they are all daffodils and they are all narcissus. However technically speaking narcissus is the botanical name (Genus) and daffodil is the common name we use here in Great Britain; especially for our wild native daffs, Narcissus pseudonarcissus and they are all from the Amaryllis family.

I would like to share two of my favourites with you: a beautiful classy true white daffodil from 1916 named Narcissus ‘Thalia’ it has a truly wonderful scent and is a great cut flower. The other is an even older one introduced before 1869 called ‘Mrs Langtry’ – named after the actress (and mistress of Edward VII) Lily Langtree. I found this growing below the derelict chapel in Pontcysyllte and sent photographs to Avonbulbs who identified it for me. She is small and dainty with white petals and a soft yellow trumpet.

Always plant daffodils in groups in rich soil in sun or a partly shaded area, make sure bulbs are planted at least twice their own depth to help the bulbs survive the harsh summer sun. NEVER cut off, remove, tie in a knot the foliage after flowering, those leaves are the food makers for your flowers for next season and a good liquid feed will ensure an abundance of these little spring superstars next year.