News: Choosing Daffodils


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Choosing Daffodils

Daffodils are amongst the most versatile of Spring bulbs, and if timed right can flower in succession from early February into May.
The daffodil collection in our catalogue reflects our years of experience in growing and judging daffodils. This is where more is definitely less, quality bulbs of good varieties will give you more flowers that increase more rapidly year on year.

The late Fred Whitsey (RHS Daffodil committee member, author and gardening correspondent for the Sunday and Daily Telegraph) posed the conundrum that when buying daffodils you can pay more than double for what seems to be the same thing. After extensive trials from different sources and prices, these were his conclusions.

"Most batches gave at least 10 flowers but the yield rose to 26 in one case. Some flowers were dismissed as poor while others got a top rating. The plants were also studied for their capacity for increase. This was where the variation showed most.

Some samples could be relied upon the give a 100% more in the following season, others much less. In several of the samples only 1 of the 10 original bulbs would yield another that would flower. "The conundrum was solved. It became a matter of investment. Increase was what counted most. When you plant daffodil bulbs in the autumn, you are not only creating next spring's flowers but providing for the future. Daffodils should be expected to "multiply", as gardeners say." 

The bulbs supplied by Bloms cost the most, gave the most flowers(26), were of top quality and had the potential of doubling themselves next year. The conundrum was solved, trials indicated that the best bulbs give the best value."

My experience with the RHS trials certainly endorses Fred’s findings.
It can often seem quite daunting to choose just the right plant, given the enormous range from which to choose. An important starting point has to be the desired location, here are some pointers.
• herbaceous border or shrubbery
to provide a focal point choose from the larger flowering daffodils, typically trumpets (div1), large cupped (div2), small cupped (div3), doubles (div4) and tazetta daffodils (div8). 

• mass formal planting
here you can choose from the full spectrum, avoiding the very short varieties, depending on the surrounding planting. 

• bulbs for naturalising
particularly suitable are the cyclemineus, triandrus and poeticus daffodils especially if you are planting in grass. 

• bulbs for a patio display
unless you have very large containers choose from our dwarf narcissi section. Particularly recommended are the smaller free flowering cyclamineus narcissi.

All daffodils are suitable for sunny or semi-shaded positions, although pink cupped varieties are best planted in a sunny aspect to develop their colour. My top 5 tips to get the best from your daffodils: - 
1. Always plant in well-cultivated soil.
2. Plant bulbs sufficiently deep  (12cm to 15cm of soil on top of the bulb)
3. Let the foliage discolour and deadhead after flowering.
4. Don’t let your tubs and containers dry out.
5. After flowering foliar feeder is a good idea.

Enjoy your garden,
Chris Blom

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