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Macclesfield Express - - LEISURE -

●● NAR­CIS­SUS

For me, the nar­cis­sus evokes the bright, cheery op­ti­mism of spring, in shades rang­ing from zingy yel­low to cream with deep or­ange cups, in a va­ri­ety of shapes and sizes from hoop­pet­ti­coats to trum­pets, dou­ble-flow­ered and fra­grant.

Even just a small tub of nar­cissi near your pa­tio door can brighten your mood in spring.

Most large types nat­u­ralise well in grass and look more ef­fec­tive when planted en masse as sin­gle va­ri­eties. Smaller ones are ideal for pots, as va­ri­eties with heavy dou­ble blooms of­ten flop and break when grown in con­tain­ers.

In pots, go for types such as ‘Bell Song’, which has 20cm stems car­ry­ing two or three del­i­cate blooms with ivory-white petals and short, soft salmon trum­pets, or the sweetly scented ‘Min­now’, a mul­ti­headed type with lemon-yel­low flow­ers, which goes well planted with for­getme-nots.

Daf­fodils should be planted in au­tumn in soil with good drainage at three times the depth of the bulb.

If you have heavy soil, add hor­ti­cul­tural grit to the plant­ing hole. They will last longer in light shade, but they will also thrive in full sun.

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