Saturday, 30 October 2010

Delays, Daffodils and Dreary Motivation Sapping Weather

Narcissus bulbicodium var. citrinus pictured today
Have you ever found yourself a victim of the weather, the seasons or the elements?  As Autumn gets ever closer to Winter we begin to see day length shorten, temperatures plummet and the first leaves of beloved plants blackened by frosts but these changes are not limited to plants alone. Trevor is slowing somewhat, the chickens appear to be starting a mini-molt and are less productive than they have been and I have not gotten off lightly either. The seasonal changes have most certainly made their impact, so much so that not unlike the humble dormouse I ‘m feeling an overwhelming urge to eat huge amounts of food,  roll up in to a ball and hibernate until next Spring.

Despite the melancholic haze and general dampness, the garden is giving a final push by offering a plethora of sensual treats before the Winter comes to deliver the annual deep clean.  The Katsura or Candy Floss tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum),bought at RHS Cardiff a little while a go,  attacks the senses with its beautiful burnt sugar scent and visual spectacle.   The sweet scent is carried on the wind as if from some other location often making the tree difficult to track down if you are not sure of its site.  Its cordate leaves, fringed with red, are ablaze in a myriad of oranges and yellows and are less conspicuous than its often allusive perfume.  I have not yet encountered any tree that comes close to rivalling the Katsura and I urge you to grow at least one in your lifetime or at least visit an arboretum in Autumn that houses a mature specimen.  

Other seasonal highlights include Miscanthus sinensis ‘Yakushima Dwarf’, Jasminum officinale ‘Clotted Cream’ and  Narcissus bulbicodium var. citrinus.  Okay, so maybe the latter should not be in flower until next Spring but this particular bulb is a little eager to get going.  Correct me if I’m wrong but I was under the impression that as this bulb has already flowered this year that it would just go dormant over Winter until the weather becomes a little more favourable.  In fact, it appears that this particular bulb is the direct polar opposite to me at present.  It’s eager, it’s bright and it’s raring to go.  If only I had the same motivation.

Has anyone else experienced eager Daffodils? Or is the Autumn weather dampening your drive?

In a late but necessary move the winners of last months competition have been announced and can be found here.  Please forward your address to if you are lucky enough to have won a prize.


  1. I have some naughty daffodils emerging as well along with some rain lilies, I think. I even have some bluebonnets that have been slowly growing since June which is a complete and total mystery to me since I didn't think wildflowers could have missed the memo so badly!

    It's nice to have a few plants coming up as it starts cooling off. The weather around here has only recently hit that point where it's nice to garden once again. October-November and March-April are the best months for gardening around here.

  2. Love the narcissus picture. I've given up with daffs - I'll just see if any of the ones I've previously planted and forgotten about come up.

  3. You can't beat the katsura tree for olfactory and visual appeal. It looks and smells good enough to eat. Never mind naughty daffs - I saw naughty magnolias in bud - they should be in full flower within a few days.

  4. There are several Katsuras planted at Westonbirt - we visited about this time last year, and were delighted by the (surprisingly strong) toffee apple fragrance which kept surprising us as we strolled around.

  5. I have a friend that has their Daffodils coming up...go figure.


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