March 30, 2013
Nothing says springtime and new life like tiny trumpeting Daffodils. You can often find these little gems at your neighborhood grocery or general store. In fact, one miniature cultivar is actually called ‘Little Gem.’ Another is ‘Tete-a-Tete.’
I believe the ones I planted in my garden many years ago fall into one of those cultivars. I was surprised to find that the date on one of these photos was from 2003. While that’s certainly possible, the date function on my various cameras has been known to be incorrect...
In any case, my miniature Daffodils were a gift all those many years ago, and I planted them in the garden immediately after the flowers faded. They’ve made an appearance in the early spring every year since then. I expect to see them poking through the soil and dried leaves after the snow melts during the next few days.
Daffodil is a nickname for members of the genus Narcissus. Narcissus asturiensis, or Pygmy Daffodil, is a species miniature Narcissus native to Portugal and Spain according to the USDA. It resembles the hybrids we commonly can purchase in the U.S., but the latter have been bred to expand their range and growing conditions.
Both ‘Tete-a-Tete’ and ‘Little Gem’ are hardy in USDA zones 4 to 9, according to Brent and Becky’s Bulbs. They’re bright yellow, prefer full sun or part shade, and perform well in average soil. Both grow to a maximum height of 12 inches.
One of the nicest things about Daffodils of all types, in my book, is that rabbits won’t eat them. And the miniature ones are great companions to other low-growing early bloomers, such as Crocuses and Hyacinths.
Fortunately, I was able to find some the other day in small pots to present as Easter gifts. They’re great for holiday decorating, and afterward the recipients can plant them in their gardens.
I wish I could send them to all my gardening friends, but since I can't, here is my virtual gift to you.