Narcissus cantabricus ssp cantabricus & Narcissus 'Tête-à-Tête'

Two very contrasting dwarf narcissus today. Narcissus cantabricus ssp cantabricus was purchased as a single bulb and afterthought from Pottertons Nursery. It is a tiny bulb and flower, smaller than my other hoops and a very pale cream, almost white. The richly coloured stamen contrasts nicely with the flower. A second flower bud is showing.

Narcissus "Tête-à-Tête" was forced for early flower, four small bulbs producing many bicoloured flowers throughout the Christmas period. Purchased for 75 pence a pot at our local garden centre, the bulb is ubiquitous, appearing from supermarket shelf to specialist nursery. The bulb is prolific in both flower stems and for reproduction. The French translation is "head to head" on account, I believed, of the sheer accumulation of flower heads piling on top of one another. Not strictly true, I read in that excellent journal PHDaff, where the origins of the bulb are said to go back to 1949 and Alec Gray, the Cornish breeder whose other excellent miniature is "Sundial". Brash and flash it may be, but Tête-à-Tête" is the blockbuster of the commercial miniature daffodil world, selling in the many millions. It sits on our front step, 75 pence well spent. Maybe I should call this blog the "Spendthrift Gardener".

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