The advantage of growing bulbs in the Coop, the lean-to greenhouse attached to the house and kept frost free over winter is that flowers last for weeks, much longer than they would do if they were kept in a warm house; the downside is that they take forever and a day to get to the flowering stage. These Narcissus ‘Erlicheer’ were planted on 25th October and although they have been in flower at least a couple of weeks it would have been good to have had some flowering earlier than this. My annual Peter Nyssen bulb order usually arrives in September so in future I must ensure I plant some batches on arrival.
The above photo looks quite washed out and I apologise for the apparent quality; it may well be having white flowers as the main subject that is the issue although the close up below shows the almost miniature rose looking blooms much more clearly. They are a highly fragrant variety but with a far more pleasant smell than the ubiquitous ‘Paperwhites’. Joining them are three wayward stems of Daphne mezereum and one of twisted hazel Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’. The prop, for better timekeeping in future, is my ‘spare’ watch, discarded in favour of a new one after ceasing to function reliably ever since I accidentally got into the swimming pool without removing it but which has kept perfect time now it is no longer on my wrist!
The availability of material to pop into vases is widening but whilst there are still blooms like these in the Coop it makes sense to use them. Although some North American gardens may well still be in the throes of winter, here in the UK ours are burgeoning and some of us may dare to think we have seen the back of frosts for this year. Whether it be twigs, seedheads or blooms that your garden is offering in mid March, do consider cutting some to pop in a vase and share it with us on IAVOM, leaving the usual links to and from this post.