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Tag Archives: Daffodils

Blooming Bulbs

Last fall, we decided to plant naturalizing bulbs and see how they fared.

In a word: gorgeous.

In December, we tucked in about 100 reliable, low-water beauties that are recommended varieties for Dallas. Now we are checking the north field compulsively to see what’s up and blooming.  We haven’t been disappointed.

Steve Huddleston, senior horticulturist at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens, has found selections from the jonquil and tazetta families of smaller, multi-flower daffodils are the most dependable for years of color. Huddleston is slated to speak on “Perennials and Bulbs” for the Master Gardener School Class on March 28.


Daffodil Cragford‘Cragford,’ a pre-1930 Heirloom with white petals and reddish orange cups falls in the tazetta classification. The first to bloom in our garden, it grows to 14” -16.”





Daffodil Falconet‘Falconet’ is another dazzling tazetta with three to five flowers per stem. The petals are a bright gold with a rich orange cup.  Like ‘Cragford,’ it has a nice musky sweet perfume.  Other tazettas you might try are ‘Avalanche’ and ‘Geranium.’  We also planted ‘Hillstar,’ a jonquil variety which is not yet in bloom.




Daffodil Carlton‘Carlton’ has a larger bloom, but only one per stem, placing it in the Division II category. The two-toned yellow daffodil dates from 1927 and is the second most popular daffodil in the world, according to Brent and Becky’s Bulbs.  You might want to plant ‘Gigantic Star,’  ‘Ice Follies,’ or ‘Saint Keverne’ in the Division II category.






Daffodil Tete-a-TeteTiny Tete-a-Tete daffodils are showing their buttercup yellow petals and slightly darker yellow cup. This popular miniature daffodil usually has two flowers per stem and reaches 4-6 inches.





We also planted Dutch iris, grape hyacinths, and tulips.

Inspired? All our bulbs came from Brent and Becky’s Bulbs, one of the country’s respected bulb retailers. The Raincatcher’s Garden receives a portion of your order at the company’s fundraising site Bloomin’ Buck$ (  If you’re looking for summer bulbs for your garden, Brent and Becky’s carries elephant ears, ground orchids, and more.


Pictures by Starla and courtesy of Brent and Becky’s Bulbs

Garden Progress

“It won’t be a chore, it will be a garden.”

 Quote by Jeannie Mobley

Come with us on this journey as we  build and transform our gardens at 11001 Midway Road.    “It won’t be  a chore, it will be a garden.”  You can see  from these pictures that we are enjoying the process.

Here we are beginning to build the raised beds:

Here we are, beginning to build our raised beds-Jim, Judy, Dorothy, Elizabeth

Jim, Judy, Dorothy, Elizabeth

Knowing we will be having school field trips in the spring, our first order of business was to get the vegetable garden beds built.  This was possible because of a generous donation from Loew’s on Inwood.

Vegetable Beds and our Crew of Dallas County Master Gardeners

Vegetable Beds and our Crew of Dallas County Master Gardeners

We are also working on a shade garden demonstration for the lucky people in Dallas, Texas who have shade. The courtyard at Midway Hills Christian Church is being renovated.   Asian Jasmine and Mondo Grass have been removed to make way for shade gardening with winter color in mind, WaterWise of course.

Hans and Michele, part of our Courtyard renewal team!

Hans and Michele, part of our Courtyard renewal team!

This spring you will see swaths of daffodils and Hardy Amaryllis .  The Amaryllis came with us from the old garden. You’ll see; they multiply like crazy.

Evelyn on the left, Sarah, Carolyn, and Cynthia on the right, Amaryllis top right

Evelyn on the left, Sarah, Carolyn, and Cynthia on the right, Amaryllis top right

By the way, this would be a good time to study bulb nomenclature and you can do that by clicking here.


Pictures by Starla


Daffodil, Jonquil, Narcissus


What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

–Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

     Picture the flower: daffodil, jonquil, narcissus.  If you are like most people, probably a particular flower comes to mind.  However depending in which part of the country you grew up or lived, or even your age, the specific flowers associated with each of these terms may be different.  This confusion, when using common names for plants, is why botanists classify plants using their Latin or scientific names.

So what exactly is the difference between a daffodil, a narcissus, and a jonquil?  The simple answer, according to University of Illinois   Extension specialist Jennifer Schultz Nelson,  “is nothing, or “it depends.”  All three terms are used as common names in many cases and used incorrectly.  Narcissus is technically the only correct scientific name identifying the genus of this group of plants.  It is not a common name, though some use it as such.  Daffodil is typically used as a collective name for all these plants, but is more often used to describe the larger flowered types.  Jonquil is a name sometimes used for this group as well, but actually only applies to a very small subgroup, Narcissus jonquilla and related hybrids, which typically have several small, fragrant flowers on each stem with flat petals.  The foliage is very narrow and reed-like, according to the American Daffodil Society (ADS).”

Daffodil 'Unsurpassable'

Daffodil ‘Unsurpassable’

The American Daffodil Society (ADS) designates 13 divisions of daffodils with, depending on which botanist is asked, over 40 to 200 different daffodil species, subspecies and varieties of species and over 25,000 registered cultivars or named hybrids.  Daffodils are members of the Amaryllis family, of the genus Narcissus.  Narcissus is derived from the Greek word narke, meaning numbness or stupor.   Perhaps the name was given because in Greek mythology Narcissus was a young man so enamored of himself that he stared at his reflection in a pool of water until he eventually drowned as he tried to embrace himself.  Supposedly flowers grew up around the site.  Or the name Narcissus may refer to the flower’s intoxicating fragrance, or because all parts of the daffodil are poisonous.  In fact, not only animals but even humans who have occasionally mistaken a daffodil bulb for an onion, have become ill upon eating the bulb.  There is even a contact dermatitis called “daffodil picker’s rash” which can occur upon repeated handling of the stems.

Above: Narcissus tazetta Double Roman peeking our thru leaves of our yew at The Demonstration Garden

Above: Narcissus tazetta Double Roman peeking our thru leaves of our yew at The Demonstration Garden

Daffodils found growing wild in Texas around old homesteads or cemeteries were probably brought over here from Europe by early settlers, according to Dr. Jerry Parsons, retired AgriLife Extension Horticulturist. Daffodils will grow best in a well drained area in full sun though they can naturalize in part shade under deciduous trees.  The bulbs should be planted and divided in the fall or late summer.   It is extremely important that the foliage be allowed to grow, mature and ripen naturally.  According to Dr. Parsons, it should never be cut off or “tied in cute little knots.”  It is the foliage that stores up the food reserves for the next year’s blooms and new bulbs.  In a flower bed, the withering foliage can be disguised by other plants.

Narcissus tazetta '‘Grand Primo’', a bulb that will naturalize in Texas

Narcissus tazetta ‘‘Grand Primo’’, a bulb that will naturalize in Texas

To naturalize daffodils in Texas, it is important to plant the correct varieties.  In general, according to Dr. Parsons, Southern grown stock is genetically superior in vigor to the commercial Dutch forms.  His article on daffodils in Plant Answers lists some of his favorite varieties.  Another excellent source for bulbs of all kinds collected from Texas and neighboring states is The Southern Bulb Company  The owner, Chris Wiesinger, collects heirloom and sometimes rare bulbs that will perform very well for the warm-weather gardener.  Many of the daffodils and bulbs planted at the DemonstrationGarden have come from his stock.

So, whether you call them daffodil, narcissus or jonquil,

now is the time to enjoy these delightful flowers.


Picture of ‘Double Roman’ and ‘Grand Primo’ by Starla

Daffodil ‘Unsurpassable’: DaffSeek, American Daffodil Society, Inc., Unsurpassable retrieved on Mar 6, 2014’, available at

Take in all things Daffodil at The Annual Texas Daffodil Society Show  this weekend at the Dallas Arboretum.

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