Jennifer StackhouseDaffodils galore

Here in northwest Tasmania the daffodils are painting gardens, roadsides and even paddocks yellow. Along with the wattles flowering in the bushland and by the roads, they are making sure that spring is celebrated in gold and green.

Daffodil1Daffodil2I have always yearned for sweeps of golden daffodils in my garden. I guess William Wordsworth has a lot to answer for. I have planted countless bulbs under trees and in clumps along the driveways in every garden I’ve owned, but I have never had more than a season or two from them. Too dry and too hot to get them to establish I suspect.

Roadside daffodils are a feature of spring in Tasmanian. These welcome you to Sheffield

Roadside daffodils are a feature of spring in Tasmanian. These welcome you to Sheffield

A severe frost in mid August saw these daffodils frozen and bent down on the lawn. They thawed out just fine

A severe frost in mid August saw these daffodils frozen and bent down on the lawn. They thawed out just fine

The golden jonquils were flowering in mid winter along with luculia, yellow knophifia, daisies, mahonia, Japanese flowering quince, calendulas and a late alstroemeria.

The golden jonquils were flowering in mid winter along with luculia, yellow knophifia, daisies, mahonia, Japanese flowering quince, calendulas and a late alstroemeria.

 

So it has been a wonderful surprise to discover there are thousands of daffodils growing in my Barrington garden. We moved here in mid winter but already the yellow jonquils were flowering fragrantly in clumps under the clothesline. Margaret, who created this garden with her husband Ian, had left a bunch of them in the kitchen to welcome us to our new home. Ten weeks on there are still jonquils in flower in that part of the garden.

Jonquil

Long-lasting jonquils in the garden

Erlicheer

Erlicheer

 

Now spring has arrived daffodils welcome us at the front gate and continue to nod their pretty trumpeted flowers at us throughout the garden. My iPad is filled with photographs of daffodils of every hue and size as I try again and again to capture their beauty.

And we are not just talking yellow daffs. There are single and double daffodils and some with pale petals and golden trumpets and others with golden petals and pale trumpets.

Fragrant and pretty in the garden, ‘Erlicheer’ also look good picked for the vase

Fragrant and pretty in the garden, ‘Erlicheer’ also look good picked for the vase

We have cornered the market with more ‘Erlicheer’ than you can imagine. I can pick huge fragrant bunches and there’s still more in flower.

Daffodil shows
I am not the only person in Tasmania celebrating daffodils. There are daffodil shows coming up across the state including one in nearby Sheffield on September 20-21.
And there are daffodils for sale in bunches at roadside stalls. Even though I have so many here I bought a lovely bunch of mixed daffodils from a bucket at our local nursery, The Big Pot. For $3 I couldn’t resist the pink daffodils mixed in higgledy-piggledy with the more common yellows, creams and golds.

Who could resist this face?

Who could resist this face?

After the flowers
Of course the downside of so many bulbs can be what happens when the flowers finish and the leaves start to look ratty and tired. Judging by the number of plants erupting in this garden I am sure the spent daffodils will soon be engulfed in the next wave of spring plants.
To have your own spring celebration of daffodils from the subtropics to cool climates, plant daffodils, jonquils and other narcissus bulbs in autumn.

Roadside daffodils near Sheffield, Tasmania

Roadside daffodils near Sheffield, Tasmania

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Jennifer Stackhouse

About Jennifer Stackhouse

Recently Jennifer Stackhouse made the big move from Kurmond in NSW to a Federation house in the little village of Barrington tucked beneath Mt Roland in northwest Tasmania. With high rainfall, rich, red deep soil and a mild climate she reckons she's won the gardening lottery. She's taken on an acre garden that's been lovingly planted and tended for the past 28 years by a pair of keen gardeners so she is discovering a garden full of horticultural treasures. Jennifer is the author of several gardening books including 'Garden', which won a Book Laurel for 2013, as well as ‘The Organic Guide to Edible Gardens’, ‘Planting Techniques’ and ‘My Gardening Year’, which she wrote with her mother Shirley. She was editor of ABC 'Gardening Australia' magazine and now edits the trade journal 'Greenworld' magazine and writes regularly for the Saturday magazine in 'The Mercury'. She is often heard on radio and at garden shows answering garden queries.

7 thoughts on “Daffodils galore

  1. Lovely Jen! As you know we can grow Narcissus very successfully in Bilpin but I must say it would be great to have them along the roadside. Don’t know how long they’d last though as we get so many Sydneysiders out for a drive. Daffodils don’t do any good near the coast so I guarantee bunches would be picked. I guess everyone has them in Tasmania. What fun to be discovering all the Spring treasures in your new garden. I’ve just been out photographing Dicentra and Trillium in the misty drizzle. Thank you for the post.
    Peta

    • I haven’t seen anyone picking roadside plants – not even me. But I have been buying the mixed bunches from the roadside stalls. I just can’t resist them even though I have so many in the garden. I know the gardens are just going to keep getting more flower-filled as spring progresses (I’ll be raving about clematis, peonies and roses soon), but there is something so lovely about the green grass and massed yellow daffodils that I wish everyone could be here to enjoy it.

  2. Dot Rowley on said:

    Lovely to see all your daffodils in flower. I have a few out now too.Enjoy reading your post.
    Dot

  3. Hi Jennifer~ Thankyou for sharing all the amazing photos – thinking about planning a trip to Tassie for next Au/Sept just to see them.
    Can you please share with me your best growing tips? From planting,nurturing,when to fertilize & after-care when the blooms have died?
    Thankyou for your help.~Terri Miller

    • Terri
      You would enjoy seeing the bulbs in flower at that time next year so I hope you make it to Tassie then! My growing tips are to plant bulbs in autumn as things begin to cool. Plant into a spot that gets good sunlight through winter and early spring. Make sure you follow the recommended planting depth. When buds begin to form watch for snails and slugs. Fertilise bulbs while they are growing and allow the leaves to die down naturally when flowering finishes. Mark where the bulbs are so you don’t accidently dig them up while they are dormant and mulch the soil to keep the bulbs cool through summer. Jennifer

      • TPbMe on said:

        Thankyou for your help.
        Regards~Terri

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