Narcissi: SoS 28 August, 2021

It would be fair to say that Winter in the Central tablelands of New South Wales has been wet. I have, in fact, let the words ‘we’ve had enough’ pass my lips on a couple of occasions.

Our back garden is flat, the ‘soil’ is clay and the drainage is dodgy. Fortunately, when we started the garden, we bought tonnes of good soil and built up the garden beds. It was excellent advice from a family member, given years ago for our previous garden, and adhered to since. ‘Build up your beds’, he shouted out of the car window as he drove away after a visit. And we listened.

The back lawn is another matter. Just now, it’s like walking on a wet flannel, but the beds have survived. I feared any bulbs would have rotted, but the narcissi are popping out flowers in their usual reliable fashion. What a joy it is to see them, their cheery blooms heralding Spring, which is just around the corner.

I’m a little hazy about their names as the pictures on the bulb packets sometimes look quite different from the real thing. Here they are as best as I can ascertain, but I’m always happy to hear other suggestions.

  1. A new comer to the garden, N. ‘Candy Princess’
  2. Petite N. ‘Hoop Petticoat’.
  3. N. ‘Red Rocket’
  4. I think this is N. ‘Jet Fire’. It’s also new and on the packet it has a reddish trumpet, but it is the correct shape with those petals ready to give it a quick start to wherever it’s going.
  5. Early Tazetta narcissi. I’m always delighted by this clump which is one of the first to appear and which flowers for an extended period of time.
  6. N. ‘Ice King’.

There are others, but I’ve limited myself to six because I’m joining in with Six on Saturday for the first time in ages. To see what other gardeners have growing, you can go to the Propagator’s blog and enjoy plants and gardens from all over the world.

Weather today: Frost, then sunny. -2.8 to 15 degrees Celsius.

41 Comments Add yours

  1. fredgardener says:

    it’s nice to see narcissi and spring flowers again … I think you must be impatient to see real spring and summer arrive!

    1. Jane says:

      Yes, after the rainy winter, we are looking forward very much to spring. The garden is perched ready to burst into flower.

  2. As Fred says, lovely to see spring flowers and the promise of summer to come.

    1. Jane says:

      Such a time, Granny. I look forward to it all winter. Not unusual in that, I suppose!

  3. shoreacres says:

    And here we are, longing for an end to summer, just as we always do when the heat and humidity drag on into September — as it always does. I was interested to read of your clay soil. Around here, there’s a good bit of clay in the soil, too. It’s called ‘gumbo’ here, but more than a few inexperienced gardeners have lost plants, including trees, by not amending the soil or building up beds. To just dig a hole and plunk in a plant often is to consign it to drowning in a potful of water.

    1. Jane says:

      The clay soil is a real problem. The front of our house is on a slope, but the gardens are built up there too, and drainage is not a problem. At the back, during the winter, I had a few trees sitting in pools of water (despite the building up) as you mentioned, and I am very relieved to see them coming into flower or leaf. I love the word gumbo. It seems entirely appropriate and I think I might use it from now on!

  4. Happy Spring! I always look forward to your summer flowers during our winter.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you AG. The thoughts are reciprocated.

  5. I like that No. 5 too, is quite joyful. It has been very funny weather, or maybe we’ve just forgotten what the old normal was like.

    1. Jane says:

      I’ll be dividing that clump later this year Tracy, and I’ll be happy to place more around the garden. I expect your weather has been very similar to ours this year. Interesting you should mention the old normal. When I looked up weather details, our rainfall for this year hasn’t been much above average and yet it seems like such a lot. Perhaps the wet clay soil is making me think otherwise.

      1. I’ve been taking advantage of the wet weather to mix in some other soil and compost into the clay pan nature strip so I can plant some natives. Worth a try.

  6. Heyjude says:

    Lovely to see you again on here Jane! As for too much rain… well I can sympathise with that. We seem to have very long and very wet winters, which wouldn’t be too bad if we had sunnier summers, but the weather has been erratic this year with a wet May and August with a brief respite for a week in mid July! Spring bulbs must be extremely tolerant of the wet that’s all I can say! And as your bulbs appear my new ones for next spring are arriving. No Narcissi though, I have loads of older bulbs to plant of those.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you for your comment, Jude. Nice to have new bulbs to look forward to, and yes spring ones must be tolerant of the wet. Even my species tulips have made an appearance, much to my relief.I hope you get some sunny weather in Autumn and respite from the holiday crowds.

  7. I lovely show. Especially after the uncertainty of the wet weather!

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you.

  8. Narcissi are always a cheering sight. I’m going to have to add Red Rocket to my bulb list. The lawn here always ends up a soggy, muddy mess over winter. It recovers eventually but I keep thinking I should try and tackle the problem.

    1. Jane says:

      The Red Rocket is gorgeous and has had a large number of flowers. It does hang its head a bit….I almost had to lie down on the ground to get a photo!
      It would be a massive job to fix our drainage. It’s something that should have been done when the house was built. There is some, but a lot more thought should have been put into it, but in fairness, I don’t think the people who had this house built would have realised. We didn’t either, when we purchased.

  9. Elaine says:

    Nothing beats narcissus to herald the coming of Spring. While you are drowning we are so dry. Maybe you could send some our way.

    1. Jane says:

      Wouldn’t it be great if we could actually do that!

  10. Kris P says:

    I love Narcissus in all its incarnations. I’ve fallen hard for the Tazetta types within the last few years. I’m sorry about your soggy lawn but I can’t help being envious of all that rain as we’re still sitting at the other end of the spectrum, having registered just 4 inches of rain (100 mm) since October 1, 2020.

    1. Jane says:

      I have been reading about your terrible weather conditions, Kris. You do so well to maintain your garden under such adversity. I remember in the dreadful summer of 2019 here, I was ready to completely give up.
      We are forecast to have a wet spring too.
      What a shame I can’t send you some rain.

  11. Lovely to see spring all around us…

  12. Jane says:

    It certainly is.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Yes we’ve had a very rainy winter too, the garden paths are drifting away with pools of water. We are so used to dry weather, that has never been a problem before. I love the ‘Candy Princess”, and the yellow “Hoop Petticoat” ..a very appropriate name too.

    1. Jane says:

      I feel strange complaining about rain! Probably we’ll be dealing with hot and dry weather before too long. I wonder if the weather in the northern hemisphere is any indication of what we might have ahead of us?

  14. Aren’t they all pretty. You must have a gorgeous display. I hope you are going okay with everything that’s going on. It seems to be never-ending at the moment. We were planning to be in Mudgee in September for an event for Mr ET and I thought I might suggest that we catch up for a coffee while he was busy. But of course, that’s not happening. Stay safe and well.

    1. Jane says:

      Oh, what a shame. It would have been terrific to meet and exchange garden notes. Hopefully the event will be rescheduled and that meeting can happen. One day.
      We are fine here. Only a few cases, unlike further west where things don’t look good at all. All the best. J.

  15. Very pretty and a joy to contemplate during these solitary times. Thank you

    1. Jane says:

      You must be seeing signs of spring where you are too, Gerard. What a lovely time of year. Stay safe and enjoy walks with your new four legged friend!

  16. We too suffer from a soggy lawn – year round it seems now – as we’re on clay too. The best thing we did this spring was put in a gravel path so that we can walk from the back door round to the front without creating a version of the Somme! I’m looking forward to some new narcissi arriving soon in the post for planting this autumn, can’t remember what I ordered but I will look out for Tazetta, what a pretty clump you’ve got (of course they are all pretty but these look especially good as there are so many).

    1. Jane says:

      During a rainy period some year ago we had to put in a gravel path also, so that Mr MG could walk to the studio at the back of the garden! For a long time after we constructed it, we had drought and it was never used. This year it has been used frequently. The weather is often all or nothing here.
      The Tazetta is particularly attractive and also reliably has has a lot of blooms each year. I think it might be ‘Avalanche’.

  17. Pauline says:

    Lovely to see your narcissus, a sure sign of spring! I have the same heavy clay that you have when it is impossible to walk on the lawn! You were given very good advice to build up your beds, it works in the end.

    1. Jane says:

      Yes, I’m enjoying the Narcissi. There are more appearing each day and they are giving a great deal of pleasure.

  18. Sleastie says:

    Spectacular narcissi! I love 5 best 🙂
    We haven’t had the kind of rain you have, but some hail startled us recently. And there we had thought winter was over…

    1. Jane says:

      We’re not done with the cold weather yet here as we can have frosts well into September. But at least the sun is higher, and the days generally warmer.
      I think the Tazetta is my favourite too.

  19. Rather like the hoop petticoat. I’m just starting on the bulb purchases. So far Alice has picked some ruffled tulips and I’ve got some fritallaries I’m not convinced will grow. Think they are better planted in the green but take a chance.

    1. Jane says:

      The hoop petticoat is tiny! On Saturday that was the only one in bloom and more have appeared since. However, it will be a long time before they make a respectable clump.

  20. You can’t beat a daffodil to cheer you up when the weather is wet and your lawn in turning to mush. I would try to pick a favourite, but they are all nice from the doubles to the simpler ones, from the large to the dainty and doll like.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, HB. There’s an amazing variety in daffodils. They are certainly cheering on grey rainy days (which seem to have stopped now).

  21. paolsoren says:

    No 1 and No 3. If I had space they would be my first. They look beautiful.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, John.

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