Who’s the sweetest daffodil of them all?

Narcissus Trevithian

Narcissus Trevithian

Unexpected (for me at least) a frost this morning, quickly disappearing as the sun cranks up its progress across the sky. Sod’s Law the magnolia and camellia flowers will get a browning again.

The concrete base for the new compost bins has been visited overnight, a line of cat paw prints run from north to south.

The time of the daffodils is nearly over, tulips are coming to the fore, today will see a few more opening for the first time to embrace the sun.

Who gets today’s prize for scent?

Sweetness (jonquil Favel UK 1930’s) has just been and gone so not strictly in today’s competition. Has relatively small heavily scented single rich yolk yellow flowers. I first saw these at The Mead Nursery, a few years ago, a potful by the till sending out waves of perfume.

Narcissus Martinette

Narcissus Martinette

Martinette (tazetta 1985 US/UK) is as strongly scented as Sweetness and of those in flower today has the most powerful scent. Quite lanky in growth, I’ll continue to grow this narcissus in pots rather than in the borders. Plus you can move the pots around and get up close to appreciate the perfume.

Geranium (tazetta van der Schoot NL pre 1930’s) is in runner up position.

Trevithian (jonquil Percival D Williams UK pre 1927)  has a distinctly different cowslip scent but not as powerful as Martinette.  The petals have the same solid texture and yolk yellow colouring of Sweetness but many are double-headed. The growth is quite sturdy so this one does work in the garden better.

Poor Narcissus poeticus in comparison has a subtle scent as does the tiny doubled Pencrebar but both very welcome nonetheless.

Narcissus poeticus naturalised planting

Narcissus poeticus

The last daffodils into flower were Narcissus poeticus planted by someone else’s hand to follow on from snowdrops at the end of the garden, inviting loiterers deeper into the copse.

Away now to resume my battle with emerging ground elder and the soon to explode goose grass / cleavers. There is some satisfaction to be had pursuing ground elder roots with a hand fork in the turned soil created by mole works along the stream bank – a tougher proposition in more solid soil.

Daffodil: Noel Kingsbury

Thomas Etty

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