While tulips are biding their time, the daffodils are busy stealing the show. My mistake when ordering has turned out to be an inspired error as we have an abundance of cheerful, silver-white 'Mount Hood' daffodils to delight us. More is very much more in this case.
In fact, the tulips' tardiness has played into the hand of the daffodils. Although I've been growing daffs for years and love the way they are so dependable, bright, and willing to come back year after year, I may have taken them a litte for granted. But this spring, I've been looking at them more closely as there has been nothing to compete with them, and the more I look, the more I find to like.
[my planting, Simon's pot arrangement]
Besides the drifts and pots of 'Mount Hood', I've grown ten or so varieties and am now beginning to refine my taste and choice. I still don't like pink/coral trumpets and I'm not keen on sulphur-yellow daffs, but I do like tall, large-cupped and trumpet types in shades of white, cream and primrose-yellow with orange, tangerine, lemon and saffron coronas.
[my new favourite, 'Las Vegas', white and lemon, tall, upright and showy]
I also planted a bag of the common grape hyacinth (Muacari armeniacum] which I now prefer to the fancier varieties. This is another reliable bulb which adds punctuation dots of blue to groups of daffodils, and is great value (7p a bulb).
And I tried a few new bedding hyacinths for blocks of colour and wonderful scent. This is this year's stunner, Peter Stuyvesant, which is an incredible shade of deep, deep, blue with a hint of purple. I saw it in the bulb fields in Holland last year, planted by the thousand, almost knocking you out with the smell, and although I have a modest/paltry planting of ten bulbs, they are still as eye-catching.
All of which goes to prove that there's a shiny silver lining to the cloud this spring,