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It’s hard to find a prettier picture this time of year than early daffodils under a Carolina blue sky. And you can bet the bulb companies know this. Their catalogs are full of stunning close up photos.

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But in the landscape, it’s a very different story. It takes a ton of bulbs to make a splash in our Apex (NC) woods.

So I’m really happy that all the work and money I’ve spent on daffodils over the years is finally paying off.

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Of course there have been some casualties along the way. None of the double daffodils I planted survived more than a few years. Ditto–the late season varieties. Our woods leaf out too early for them to store energy for the next year.

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But a few varieties have proved to be big winners for me, returning year after year, and blooming their hearts out without any care. My daffodil stars are:

February Gold
Ice Follies
Thalia
Hawera

What about you? I’m always looking for new daffodil varieties to light up the woods here in zone 7-B. What are your daffodil stars?


It’s time to buy daffodils, and while it may look like I have enough of this splendid, easy to grow bulb, I don’t think I’ll ever have enough.  Never. 

Daffodils shine in my deciduous NC woods.  They look beautiful in vases and add fragrance to the house.

And Daffodils come back year after year in larger, carefree clumps– if you buy the right ones for gardening in the South.

Here are some of my favorites:

February Gold:  If I could only grow one daffodil, this would be the one.  It has bloomed as early as February 2nd here and the flowers last for weeks and weeks.  (Great for putting in little vases for Valentines Day gifts.)

Ice Follies:  Stunning bi-colored flowers that usually appear by my niece’s birthday, March 6. Larger than Feb. Gold but more easily knocked over by  hard rains, snows, freezes.  At the worst, the stems will bend and I cut armfuls of flowers for the house.

Carlton:  Another large cup daffodil like Ice follies, it’s pure yellow, very sturdy, beautiful, and popular.  Another must have.

Geranium:  Multi-booms per stem, this is the most fragrant daffodil I grow.  Love it!

Hawera:  My latest daffodil, blooming in early April.  Small and charming and a reliable late bloomer for the South (which is hard to find.)

My favorite source is Terra Ceia Farms in Eastern NC.  They sell great bulbs with bulk pricing to greedy gardeners like me.

Bret and Becky’s is another excellent Southern daffodil grower and between the two, I can find anything I want.

Last time I checked, both have real people who answer the phone and give helpful advice, another big plus for me.

Two more tips for daffodil growing:

Order sooner, rather than later.  I write: Order Bulbs!!! on my October Calendar and try to get it done by Halloween or at least mid November before the best varieties sell out.

And finally, try something new every year.  Quail and Jetfire are the newbies  at our house for 2011.   But I was torn.  So many splendid daffodils, so little time…

Any suggestions? Please share your favorites.


When you plant daffodils, plant a lot of them. They look better in large drifts.

We should all grow more daffodils.   These wonderful plants demand so little  but give us so much–color and fragrance after a long winter, great bunches of blooms for the house.  And best of all, many daffodil varieties come back in larger clumps year after year– 

But daffodils take planning.  That’s the problem.  We buy the bulbs in fall and plant them when our gardens look full with leaves and the last of the perennials.  In November,  I can never remember where I wanted to put more bulbs.  

 So take pictures.  That’s what I ‘ve learned to do.  And don’t just take the pretty, look at my flowers shots.  Take pictures of the bare spots, the empty places where you want daffodils next year.   Then (and this is critical) paste your pictures on a word document and print it.  Next, tape that sheet on your September calendar,  or put it in your garden journal if you have one.   It will remind you to buy or order bulbs in the fall 

Daffodil glamour shot- but the big picture below shows lots of space for new bulbs

 

I like to order my bulbs.  I get the best selection that way.  But if you’re into buying local, check Logan’s in Raleigh and Dickenson’s on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill for the best in-store selections.  

 Do break out of the big box store habit and try to buy bulbs that bloom EARLY, MID and LATE,   February Gold is the first big burst of color at my house. Little Hawera is my latest, blooming in April.  

Then store your bulbs in a cool place and move your photo from September  to the November calendar.  

I like to plant daffodils on the weekend after Thanksgiving.  But I’ve put them in the ground as late as the day after Christmas.    

Just don’t forget them.   Print the pictures.  Tape them to the calendar.  Come next March,  and you’re growing more daffodils, you’ll be glad you did. 

A long-time gardener and a passionate beginner share the dirt on their NC gardens-

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