A Greek myth describes the origins of Narcissus flowers, commonly known as daffodils. The story is called The story of Narcissus and Echo. Narcissus was granted the most handsome looks by the Gods. His dashing good looks were permanent, and he would never die, as he was immortal. Narcissus was warned by the Gods to never look at his own reflection.
Narcissus was hunting one day and a beautiful wood nymph saw Narcissus. The nymph’s name was Echo and she admired Narcissus, and then fell deeply in love with him. Narcissus rejected Echo, and she was so distraught that she wept and wailed out loud constantly. Echo pined so much for Narcissus that she vanished, and the sound of her voice was all that remained.
The Goddess Nemesis heard about poor Echo, and was so upset that she lured Narcissus to a lake. Narcissus saw his image in the lake and fell in love with his own looks. He could not resist admiring himself in the lake. Narcissus was warned, and as he gazed at himself, he disappeared. In his place, up sprung a yellow golden trumpet flower. We know the flower as Narcissus, or daffodil.
In Australia, it’s Spring time and when the daffodils, tulips, irises, and ranunculus flowers start popping up in the garden, we rejoice — I believe these flowers introduce us to Spring. The daffodil flower is shaped like a trumpet, and it’s yellow color is so bright and loud… like a trumpet, it awakens you from the winter blues. Daffodil flowers appear in late Winter and early in Spring,
Daffodils are a beautiful flower to grow en masse or a few scattered among other flowers in your existing garden bed. Create a feature display in a decorative pot, or for a natural look, plant daffodils in the lawn, which will give you an informal wilderness feel.
It’s best to plant your daffodil bulbs in the first two months of autumn. They will flower in Winter and then give you ample flowers for a spectacular show at the start of Spring.
To create a profusion of flowers with daffodils, you need to plant them in well drained soil in a sunny position, but they’re adaptable, blooming in part shade also. Poorly drained soil can cause the bulb to rot. Prepare your garden bed by using a garden fork, dig the ground over well, and add a mixture of organic matter, like compost or well-rotted animal manure.
Plant the bulbs in areas where there is plenty of rain, then the rainfall should be sufficient water for your daffodils. For a drier zone with little rain, you will need to water regularly, and when daffodils have finished flowering you can mulch the bed to keep the moisture in over summer.
Alternatively, at the end of Spring when flowering finishes, you can remove the bulbs and place in a cool place, and replant them again in Autumn. Fertilizing the plants frequently during the growing season will give you a positive result for flowering the next year.
If you don’t have a big enough space to grow daffodils in the ground, then an alternative is growing them in garden pots. You can plant quite a number of bulbs close together in a large decorative pot. A garden nursery can provide you with a quality potting mix for bulbs. When the flowers have died down, annuals can be planted on top for an endless show of color in the garden pot.
No garden, no pots, no space, and no time to garden? Check out your local florist, supermarket, and even on the side of the road, as many people have more daffodils than they need, and you can buy a bunch for a small fee. You can still enjoy these beauties.
As a cut flower, daffodils need to be in a vase of their own because their cut stems give off slime that decreases the life of other flowers in the vase. Daffodils are best cut for flowers when they are in bud for longer lasting blooms. Flowers cut in full bloom will last a week in a vase.