Guest Author - Sheri Ann Richerson
The bright yellow and white flowers of daffodils are a sure sign that spring is on its way and a perfect choice for an easy to care for bulb that will naturalize around a pond or water feature. Most daffodils are squirrel proof. If you do have a problem with squirrels wanting to dig your bulbs, plant some Narcissi spp. among your bulbs.
A favorite bulb among gardeners, daffodils come in a wide variety of shapes: spiked, single or double bloomed. Hybridizers are beginning to be bred new varieties that include pink and lilac in their blooms. Gardeners can choose to grow the traditional tall daffodils or add miniature ones to their gardens. Most daffodils are sweetly scented.
How To Care For Your Daffodils
Daffodils should not be cut back or deadheaded once they begin to die. In order for your bulb to produce fantastic blooms year after year, it must rely on photosynthesis, which makes leaving the dead blooms and foliage alone a must.
The Best Miniature Daffodils
These miniature daffodil bulbs were not only chosen for their bloom, but also for the availability each one has.
If you prefer early flowering bulbs, our picks are Narcissus ‘Jack Snipe’ and N. ‘Tete-A-Tete.’ Both varieties are approximately 20 cm high.
For those of you who prefer mid-season flowers, try N. ‘Minnow’ or N. ‘Rip Van Winkle’ which has an unusual, double flowered bright yellow spike bloom. These are approximately 15 cm tall.
The late flowering daffodil varieties include N. ‘Baby Moon,’ N. ‘Bridal Crown,’ N. ‘Hawera,’ and N. ‘Canalisulatus.’ The height of these varieties vary from 15 cm all the way to 25 cm.
Planting these miniature bulbs near your water garden in groups of about twenty will definitely make your water garden stand out in the spring with waves of yellow blooms dancing in the breeze and reflecting in the water. You could plant a variety of early, mid-season and late flowering varieties together to help minimize the appearance of the foliage during different periods of growth.
On a final note, did you know that it takes anywhere from fifteen to twenty years to bring a new cultivar to market? That’s an awful long time to wait, but it sure helps assure us that we get the best varieties available.
Remember, for many gardeners, fall is the perfect planting time however, some supplies do offer pre-chilled daffodils that are ready for spring planting. Be sure to find out if the variety you want is available before you begin to plan your water garden.