The weather has remained somewhat civil over the last few weeks yet I haven’t actually been doing much outside. We have had a moderately large bulb-planting session for the new border and this time, it’s daffodils. Not the strange, wacky new varieties that are odd colours, odd shapes or are frail multi-stems, but traditional, robust, good-old-fashioned varieties that are more likely to last, re-flower and not succumb to the ravages of winter weather.
The four varieties we planted are:
- Narcissus Camelot
- Narcissus Marie Curie Diamond
- Narcissus February Gold
- Narcissus Obvallaris (The Tenby Daffodil)
You’ll see that these are all single-headed, small-to-medium, yellow daffodils, just how I like them to be and now we have many hundreds of them buried (hopefully at the right depth) in the final border, waiting for the spring. From previous experience, I’m hoping to see the first shoots emerging from the soil as early as December, especially as the start of the winter is usually so mild and the cold only gets persistent in late January through February.
Despite the numbers planted, I guesstimate that we only managed to half-fill the border of daffodils. It’s a large under-purchase, especially as I was anticipating having mountains left-over to have to plant somewhere else. When the daffodils emerge in Spring, I’ll have to take meticulous photos of where they are and aren’t so that around this time next year, I can order the remaining half of the bulbs needed and fill in the gaps without planting the new on top of the old. At least this give me a chance to look at some possible new varieties that fit the “it must look like an old variety” brief, failing that, I’ll just get more of the same.
After the bulb planting we need to have a talk with the climbers on the back of the house – the jasmine and the Madame Alfred Carriere rose – and bring those under control for the winter. That also signals the start of the winter jobs. Winter clean-up and tidy does start early because it takes so long to get round all the borders that it is Spring by the time I manage to finish.
Poor weather, soggy ground, short days and low light stretches out the time it takes to get anything done outside. Unlike previous years, I don’t yet feel the call of winter hibernation as I have done in previous years; that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as I can spend time thinking about the seeds I want to grow to complete the final border and dream up ideas for areas that I’m not happy with, all while the weather rages outside.
We’re not quite there yet though, there’s still several things on my current list that I want to get done and it’s hard to think about winter clearance when there’s still lots of flower and the leaves are still green – just.