The daffodils have returned and they are spectacular! It seems that every day this week I have seen a new variety emerge. Last year, Gail did her best to take a picture of every variety of daffodil that we have here at Blithewold and we spent the winter sorting through the pictures. We managed to find the names for most of the ones in Blithewold’s daffodil collection with a few exceptions. There are several historic cultivars that predate the records we can locate. We are hopeful that further research will reveal the names of these beautiful specimens! In the meantime, when you visit Blithewold you can see an exhibit in the Summer House featuring extensive information about daffodils and a list of all the named cultivars in our collection. If you’ve ever wondered what a daffodil division is or when to plant daffodil bulbs or if you simply enjoy learning new things, this display is for you!
Narcissus ‘Pheasant’s Eye’
Narcissus ‘King Alfred’
Narcissus ‘Rainbow of Colors’
Narcissus ‘Ice Follies’
If you are at all concerned that the daffodil season might be waning, don’t worry! Many of our late varieties have yet to open. The early varieties have just passed their peak but still look lovely and the trees around the property are beginning to put on a show of their own. The cherry trees in the Water Garden are so pretty right now.
To look out across the Bosquet and see so many cheerful daffodils in one place really is stunning. Thinking of being stunned, I recently learned in Noel Kingsbury’s book Daffodil that Narcissus (the Latin name for daffodil) comes from the Greek word narco, which means “becoming numb.” This may have more to do with their sap than their beauty, but I felt the connection nonetheless. (Daffodil sap can be an irritant and any daffodils you cut from your own yard should be kept in a separate vase from other flowers.)
I hope you have the opportunity to visit Blithewold and see for yourself the great beauty of the daffodils. Happy Spring!