Based on the ho-hum selection at the average local plant nursery, who would know that there are more than 25,000 different kinds of daffodilsâ€”scented ones, and ruffled ones, and pale creamy ones, and even a crinkly cupped bicolor variant named for the tiny Irish hometown of its creator? And you thought daffodils were dull.
I want them all. A selection of several dozen of the bestâ€”the rare, the coveted, and the oldest heirloomsâ€”is available from Old House Gardens, where Michigan-based bulb grower Scott Kunst is blessedly fanatical about saving and propagating flowers we might otherwise forget had once existed. And now is the time to order, for fall planting:
Above: The creamy clusters of Daffodil Erlicheer are happiest blooming in a climate where it doesn’t get too cold (recommended for Zone 6 or warmer); $25.50 for 10 bulbs. Photograph by Richard Jolley via Flickr.
Above: Broughshane Daffodil was named for the Irish hometown of Gay Wilson, who created the hybrid in 1938; it’s recommended for Zones zones 4-7b and to Zone 9 on the West Coast. Among the rarest Old House Gardens offers, it’s $40 for 10 bulbs. Photograph by Chris Durrill via Flickr.
Above: Thalia is a daffodil I’ve been planting for more than 20 years; I love the graceful, gentle way the flowers lean over to listen to what you’re saying. It’s a hybrid that dates to 1916; $15.25 for 10 bulbs. Photograph by Cynthia Crawley via Flickr.
Above: “If daffodils were athletes, ‘Avalanche’ would be wearing Olympic gold,” according to the Old House Gardens catalog. A vigorous bloomer with up to 20 blooms per stem, Avalanche Daffodil is $18 for 10. Photograph by Lagged On User via Flickr.