by Nicholas Walker, Brand Ambassador for kathy ireland Designs – Jardin
What sight heralds the coming of spring more than the yellow daffodil? They are our March flower and as spring arrives on March 20th what bloom could be more appropriate. Seeing clusters of daffodils swaying in the breeze is one of the most cheerful reminders that winter is over and spring has sprung.
As a member of the narcissus family the daffodil has the tell-tale centre trumpet which is surrounded by a ring of six petals. Yellow daffodils are the most popular and commonly planted of the species and yet there are white, cream and pink versions of this delightful bloom.
The botanic name for the daffodil genus is Narcissus and although often thought of as a very English flower they are native to Asia, North Africa and Europe. They are usually an early spring blooming flower yet there are some species that flower in the fall. The daffodil has been highly cultivated and there are numerous types of this flower with new variations created each year by horticulturalists.
The most common way to have a garden full of daffodils is to grow them from bulbs. The bulbs should be planted in autumn well before the first freeze arrives, this gives the roots time to take hold and get ready for the long winter ahead. When choosing a spot consider that daffodils flourish best when in partial sun and shade as they are really a woodland flower; they can survive with full sun but it is not optimum for their growth. Plant the bulbs in well drained soil as daffodils do not like to have soggy roots.
When choosing daffodil bulbs make sure that they are firm and look and smell fresh, any bulb that is soft and feels light and hollow should be discarded; bear in mind the larger the bulb the larger the plant will be. Plant the bulbs in a hole that is at least three times as deep as the bulbs are in width; the bulbs are tapered at one end so plant them with the thinner end pointing upwards towards the top of the hole. Cover with soil and a good, organic compost and water lightly; adding a layer of mulch will help retain moisture and warmth during the winter months.
The daffodil, the daffodil wherever it grows everyone knows that spring has officially sprung.