From “Lent Lily” by A. E. Housman in The RHS Book of Flower Poetry and Prose by the Royal Horticultural Society:
’Tis spring; come out to ramble
The hilly brakes around,
For under thorn and bramble
About the hollow ground
The primroses are found….
Bring baskets now, and sally
Upon the spring’s array,
And bear from hill and valley
The daffodil away….
From Garden Flora: The Natural and Cultural History of the Plants In Your Garden by Noel Kingsbury:
“There are some 70 species (and 27,000 cultivars) in the genus of the quintessential spring flower, whose centre of diversity is the mountains of the Iberian peninsula and the mountains just across the water in the Maghreb. One species, Narcissus pseudonarcissus, has a wide distribution in western Europe; N. poeticus (pheasant’s eyes) and several related species are found across the regions immediately north of the Mediterranean. The heavily fragrant white N. tazetta is found further eastwards around the Mediterranean into Iran; long traded on the Silk Road, it got as far as Japan centuries ago and has naturalised there….
“As with tulips and lilies, there is no sepal/petal distinction; what are commonly called petals are referred to technically as perianth segments. The daffodil cup (i.e., the trumpet), however, is a structure that has evolved independently and is unique to daffodils….
“Daffodils reappear faithfully every year, not just in gardens but wherever they may have been dumped decades ago — for these are true clonal perennials…. In the wild they are plants of light woodland, and open, but not unduly exposed, country….”
The daffodils are here! Of course, they’re always here in March, but word on the street (that is, on the internet) has it that they bloomed earlier than usual this year — several weeks early, in mid-February — and I took most of these photos on February 22. I wasn’t actually daffodil-hunting that day — not really expecting any except those few that sneak into view early most years — and was surprised at how many were in bloom in the gardens, and how many had already past their blooming stage to look a bit raggedy around the edges. And as you can see in the third batch below, some were so early that they put their color out among gray sagebrush branches that hadn’t turned back to green yet.
Daffodil season may have started earlier than usual, yet it’s still going on. I originally had enough photos for three blog posts, but came across several fresh batches just a couple of days ago and — since I hadn’t yet posted any of the photos, decided to process them up and plan four posts instead of three. Two of the varieties mentioned in the Garden Flora quote above — N. poeticus and N. tazetta — will appear in the last two posts. The widely-dispersed and wildly common N.pseudonarcissus — with its pale yellow leaves and saturated yellow trumpet — are featured in this post, among the images in the middle galleries and through to the end.
Thanks for reading and taking a look!