Plant daffodils now for a springtime of color
They're easy to plant, come back year after year, and deer rarely eat them.
Here's the thing about daffodils: They're a no-brainer. They're easy to plant. They grow anywhere. Hundreds of varieties are readily available. They return year after year.Skip to next paragraph
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As we said, a no-brainer.
"I think that one of the first things people think about with fall planting is daffodils," says Barb Pierson, nursery manager for White Flower Farm in Connecticut, which has more than 70 varieties for sale. "Once you plant the daffodil, that's it. That makes them attractive from the get-go because they're easy."
And there's always the surprise factor. You stick a bunch of nondescript bulbs in the ground. Come spring, your lawn or flower bed is flashing colors you've never seen before. To be honest, many of us forget where we planted the daffodils — or that we even planted some — making the surprise even bigger.
For daffodil (Narcissus) enthusiasts, now's the time. Garden centers and nursery catalogs are brimming over with all types of daffs.
Varieties that have been around for years, such as King Alfred and Dutch Master, for example, still sell, but new varieties are on shopping lists too.
"People always want the interesting and the new," Ms. Pierson says.
Two new varieties from White Flower Farm are Best Seller and Galactic Star. The former has a light yellow cup with light yellow petals that fade to white as they mature.
Galactic Star is a trumpet daffodil that starts out "a chartreuse color and turns to a yellowy color, and then they turn white," Pierson says. "The great thing is, it looks very similar to other trumpets, but it's fragrant. I just think fragrance is so great."
At Brent & Becky's Bulbs in Virginia, third-generation bulb grower Brent Heath has hundreds of daffodils available. ("I read an article that said we had 240. I thought there was more than that. ... I haven't counted recently.") And more than 20 are new varieties this fall.
One he seems excited about is Full Throttle, an orange trumpet daffodil with white petals. "It's a creamy white, but it's a big wide trumpet. It's a big sucker," he says.
Another newcomer among the trumpet types is Trumpet Warrior, a reversed bicolor with the flower a soft yellow and the trumpet white (actually a sort of very pale yellow). "It gives the effect of the flower being two-toned."
The large-cup group has several notable new varieties. Amadeus Mozart has a bright tangerine orange cup; Bella Vista, with a pleated bright orange-red cup, stands up to bright sunlight; Fellows Favorite is a long-lasting flower that's a soft, lemony yellow, and Yellow Salome is a sport, a mutation of a white and pink cup daffodil that's all yellow and is a late-season bloomer.