When Wordsworth was talking about his "host of golden daffodils", he might well have been talking about Narcissus Bestseller (although he wasn't). Both the outer petals or perianth and the inner trumpet of the flower are the same glorious golden colour of a constant intensity and are of a size to make an impact without being blowsy. For sheer cheer Bestseller are unbeatable and deserve their name. These dependable bulbs do well in most soils and will keep on increasing in quantity providing you divide the clumps up every 5-6 years up and replant half elsewhere. 'Bestseller' is a good height as well, tall enough to stand out but not so tall that it cannot withstand some windy days. See the full range of narcissus and daffodil bulbs we have available for sale.
Early March can be a pretty depressing time in the garden and these large, yellow blooms are a blast of cheer after the long winter. Large narcissi look best when billowing through grass in a slightly haphazard way, no straight lines please. Vita Sackville West's suggestion was to throw a handful of bulbs over a stretch of grass and to plant them where they fall and roll. This method seems to achieve the desired ad hoc spacing that makes the final result most natural and captivating. Creating avenues of daffodils all to attention along the drive looks incredibly welcoming. But don't forget that daffodils look great in pots too - especially with the grey of lead or stone planters. But if you are feeling a little Scrooge like and would prefer something less relentlessly cheery, perhaps you should be heading towards some of the more atmospheric daffodils like Narcissus Mount Hood or Ice Follies.
There are about 27,000 different varieties of Narcissus, most of which no longer are sold by bulb merchants. Although we associate bulbs with Holland, most of those hybrids were grown in England. There was a massive upsurge in interest in daffodil growing in the early to mid 1800s and it was down to the good offices of people like William Herbert, Dean of Manchester, who recognised the potential of crossing different strains of daffodil that we have the amazing choice of daffodil that we have now. In fact William Herbert put forward theories about the origin of species in his paper on daffodil hybridisation that pre-dated Darwin's theories.