Golden sunshine

Surrey Life|March 2020

Golden sunshine
It’s that time again when drifts of daffodils burst into bloom turning their cheerful faces to the light and welcoming spring visitors to gardens across Surrey
Leigh Clapp

Seeing shimmering daffodils en masse is sure to lift your spirit as spring gets underway in the garden. These reliable bulbs pop up across the country in gardens and road verges and it’s a lovely thing to do to wrap up warm and go for a stroll amongst these iconic blooms. There is great diversity in the shapes and colours of Narcissi, from the common yellows to pastel pinks and white, with single, double and split corona forms. The dwarf varieties such as the ever-popular ‘Tete-a-Tete’ look charming lining paths or in containers and at the other end of the scale are giants such as ‘Breck’s Colossal’. I particularly love the subtle wild native daffodil Narcissus pseudonarcissus, which inspired Wordsworth’s poem, and the white with orange-fringed centre of the dainty, scented pheasant’s eye, Narcissus poeticus, another old variety, one of the first to be cultivated, and ideal for naturalising.

It’s important to remember to take care where you plant your daffodils so that they don’t cross-pollinate and threaten our native British daffodil. English Heritage has mass planted native daffodils at some of their sites and is encouraging home gardeners to plant more native and historic cultivar bulbs, so they are well worth looking out for. Older varieties also naturalise best, making them ideal for areas you’d like to create large drifts in grass. You may get inspired to grow a collection in containers or in clumps in garden beds and all varieties prefer well-drained soil with most preferring sunny spots and others in light shade. Here are some of my favourite gardens where daffodils star at this time of the year and are sure to inspire additions to your own garden.

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March 2020