The Gold Standard

Put on your sunglasses because the daffodils are going for the gold with gusto.

Ever notice that spring parades out a color palette big on primary colors? In fact, you’ll see a whole lot of yellow going on. And it’s not only the daffodils. Forsythias play a big part in the pageant and flowering dogwoods like Cornus mas also collude in the conspiracy. Dandelions have their day in the sun. At the Colorblends House and Spring Garden, the daffodils are the common denominator pushing the gold standard. The beauty of daffodils is they synchronize beautifully—no guesswork involved.

Not so Mellow Yellow

Because one goal at Colorblends is to illustrate the history behind bulbs, we figured that a section of the garden planted to the big cup golden trumpet daffodils would provide a touchstone that you all know and love. These are the daffodils you see from down the street when you’re cruising around in spring. You probably affectionately called them ‘King Alfred’ — because that variety was once the crowd pleaser. But times change, breeding improves, and we’ve now got some superdeluxe large trumpet daffodils that frankly rub ‘King Alfred’s nose in the dirt. Yes, we show you some bonafide ‘King Alfred’ from our Oldies but Goodies arsenal, but we also roll out a strip of ‘Marieke’, ‘Golden Harvest’, and ‘Dutch Master’ right alongside and we bet you will find them equally bedazzling and more dependable.

Softening the Statement

Daffodil ‘Barrett Browning

That said, we knew you would want to mix in some other shades as well, so our display tones down yellow’s Big Bang with plenty of creamy white and orange tucked in. We also parade out other strong naturalizers for everyone who wants to mix it up colorwise. Blocks of ‘Cornish King’, ‘Brackenhurst’, ‘Golden Echo’, and ‘Barrett Browning’ are colorful riffs on a popular theme. We want you to see the full range.

Speaking of the scope, mixing and matching is our gig. So Colorblends did for daffodils what they do for tulips and blended them together creating positive proof that combos can bring out the best in everybody. Want a crowd pleaser with sophistication? Take a look at the spritely ocean of mixed daffodils in situ. Nobody is going to stroll by our daffodil blend without stopping for a closer look. Another perk: At the right time of day, the scent can find its way to your nose right through that face mask.

 

Daffodil ‘Peach Cobbler’

Daffodils with a Difference

As we said, narcissus are not only about trumpets and to prove our point, we planted pockets to some unique performers. Thinking of skipping the trumpet motif entirely? Double daffs are always crowd pleasers—and that’s where ‘Ambon’, ‘Double Beauty’, and ‘Peach Cobbler’ come in. And check out the open-faced split cup narcissus like ‘Apricot Whirl’ or ‘Banana Splash’. Basically, our display is going to push your preconceptions about daffodils way beyond any previous parameters. Bet you can’t choose just one.

Hyacinth are Happening

Hyacinths and Crocus

Did you think we would do daffs and only daffs? Definitely not. Narcissus are just part of the pizzazz in place right now. The hyacinths are also happening both running like rivulets through the garden in a naturalistic section just to show off their breadth and mingling with crocus in a painterly pocket by the walkway. This is the year that the crocus would not quit. Ditto for the Siberian squill—those little sailor blue blossoms will not stop. They are both in evidence. You’ll even find some windflowers (Anemone blanda) peppered in.

In previous blogs, we talked about the segues that bridge the gaps between shows. Basically, when Jacqueline van der Kloet designed our garden, she went for a continual performance without intermissions. So, you’re always seeing something coming or going from our stage. Right now, a herd of grape hyacinths (Muscari armeniacum) in quantities that you are not going to believe are swarming the path behind the house. We’re talking thousands upon thousands of budded bells biding their time to open fully. It looks like gurgling brook of blue. You need this.

Tulip Premiere

Wild Tulip ‘Turkestanica

The little ‘Scarlet Baby’ tulips are still going strong, and many hybrid tulips are in heavy bud, but before they burst, there’s a species tulip that leads the brigade. Although each individual flower of Tulipa turkestanica might not have the wow appeal of its bigger brethren, the beauty of this little species from Turkestan comes in the combined strength of many flowers on each arching wand. Of course, we didn’t make them sing solo. We combined T. turkestanica with some of the smaller dwarf narcissus standing the same height to ramp up the rave reviews.  And we ran them along a raised wall parallel to the street. The combined volume of multiple flowers gives the statement bulk, plus their soft color has a calming effect—and who doesn’t need some solace nowadays? If you crave flower power, bulbs come to the rescue.

 

 

 

Daffodil ‘Marieke

 

 

Daffodil ‘Marieke

 

 

Wild Tulip ‘Red Emperor

 

 

 

 

Daffodil ‘Delibes

 

 

Wild Tulip ‘Turkestanica‘ and Daffodil ‘Rapture

 

 

Daffodils ‘Monal‘ and ‘Barrett Browning

 

 

April 2020, Week 2

 

 

 

 

Daffodil ‘Tom Pouce’

 

 

Wild Tulip ‘Amazon‘ and daffodil ‘Jetfire’