Narcissus bulbocodium var. citrinus ‘Pandora’
Look! The first narcissi of the season – commonly known as daffodils, although the hooped petticoat varieties look somewhat different. These have just the cup with 6 very narrow, spiky petals forming the skirt. It is the pale lemon ones that flower so early. The more common, bright yellow N. bulbocodium come considerably later in the season.
The foliage is narrow, described as grassy. While sometimes recommended as a good option for naturalising in grassy meadows or on banks, we would beg to differ. It is too hard to pick the foliage and emerging flower stems, which makes it difficult to do a late autumn trim on the grass. Without that trim, the narcissi can get swamped by competing growth. We use them in the rockery and along the edges of paths or walls. They are quite happy on the side of the stony drive. Good drainage is the key – they hail from south western France, Portugal and Spain.
These dainty narcissi are like slug magnets, as you may be able to see in the photo. After being somewhat relaxed about the munching varmints in the off-season, it is a call to action before the bulk of the winter and early spring bulbs come into bloom, offering a veritable smorgasbord.
First published in the Waikato Times and reprinted here with their permission.
Latest posts: Friday 18 May, 2012.
A mere three new posts this week.
1) Cyclamen purpurascens – one of the most rewarding of the species cyclamen in our garden.
2) Differing shades and grades of organic purity in gardening. Like being a part-time vegetarian here.
3) Grow it yourself – aubergines (if you can – there are easier crops to grow and timing is everything).
Tikorangi Notes; Friday 18 May, 2012
Back in summer, I wrote about my battle with the water weeds. Now it is time to own up and say that when I reached the first of the ponds, I retired. Mark has persevered and has now reached the point where he has all the sludge now accumulated in the lower large pond. It has reached the point where he needs to hire the sludge pump to finish the job once and for all – or rather once in a decade or maybe slightly longer.
Narcissus bulbocodium citrinus “Pandora” – the first in flower this season
At least we are both back into the garden though it was pretty disappointing when the magic autumn weather staged an exit this week and the temperature dropped. Writing and publishing garden advice and thoughts every week is an exercise in keeping us focussed but it doesn’t always mean we get around to following our own advice. This can make us feel a bit of a fraud at times. The hellebores still need to be cut down (getting urgent), the major project in the rose garden has yet to be started and Mark’s vegetable garden is severely under producing at the moment – though we should be able to hold famine at bay with potatoes and dried beans. But at least we are enjoying the autumn flowering of the massive evergreen tree hydrangea is in flower, looking decidedly impressive (pictured above). The earliest of the narcissi, N. bulbocodium citrinus “Pandora” is coming into flower. Before we know it, June will be upon us and the magnolia buds will be fattening.