Monday, April 9, 2012

The last daffodil of spring

Or so it would seem, anyway. Narcissus poeticus always blooms in very late spring, just when most of us have forgotten daffodils and moved on to the charms of irises and azaleas.

Poet's daffodil, narcissus poeticus, blooms in very late spring
(my yard, LaGrange, Georgia—27 March 2012)

It's also called "Pheasant's Eye" daffodil for obvious reasons
(my yard, LaGrange, Georgia—27 March 2012)

But this last brave poeticus bloomed through April 2. In 1999, I planted a dozen of these in my front yard; this one is the only one to bloom this spring. Perhaps I really will have to dig up all those daffs this spring. They're not getting enough sunlight under the oak trees. 

Spring has come weirdly early this year. I'm not used to seeing wisteria in mid-March; the grape soda smell doesn't normally start up until mid- to late April. But this is what Mother Nature has brought us this year, whether we like it or not.

Narcissus poeticus is an heirloom daffodil, introduced around 1650, according to Brent & Becky's Bulbs. It's easy to see how it got the "Pheasant's Eye" nickname, with it small yellow cup tinged in bright red. And I love how they bloom so late, often the very last of the straggler spring bulbs.

Last fall, I bought 50 poeticus bulbs from Brent & Becky's, fully intending to plant them on the south side of the yard, along with all the other daffs I've collected over the years. It didn't happen, but a busy spring semester did. So my mother agreed to "foster-plant" them in her yard until I found time and a suitable place to plant them. This fall, we'll dig up and bring my "Pheasant's Eyes" back here. Until then, I'll enjoy these photos, and dream of the poet's daffodil.

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