Daffodils in May

by Pippa Greenwood

This week at the Chelsea Flower Show there are thousands of gardeners admiring out of season daffodil blooms in the show gardens and floral exhibits.

Daffodils in a vaseThis week at the Chelsea Flower Show there are thousands of gardeners admiring out of season daffodil blooms in the show gardens and floral exhibits.

In order to get their daffodils blooming at this time of year, growers force the bulbs to grow using very exact and tricky techniques, such as cold storage, with carefully analysed and controlled temperatures. This is sometimes followed by a burst of heat to encourage them to flower just in time for Chelsea.

I've still got some daffodils in flower. Some emerged along the drive at Christmas, and from the responses to my daffodil blog it seems lots of other people had super-early (if somewhat confused) daffodils. My May daffs are in what we grandly call the 'picking plot', which is a slightly unkempt strip of land we use as a cutting patch. For years we had a few daffodils, tulips, snowdrops and gladioli growing in it, but this year a whole sack of daffs was added. They were a birthday present in February, so were planted quite late. The result? A plentiful supply of gorgeous daffs, albeit some with shorter-than-average stems.

By next year they will, no doubt, be performing when they're supposed to, but this year at least I'm pleased to have daffodils still in bloom.

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Talkback: Daffodils in May
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Gardeners' World Web User 27/05/2008 at 06:37

I completely agree. Carol would be the best bet by far but Pippa or Sarah would also be welcome. I don't mean any offense but please please not Joe Swift.

Gardeners' World Web User 27/05/2008 at 16:46

I had some early daffodils, all now have finished.I must admit I wasn't a fan because of the untidy show of leaves for weeks after,but I've had a change of heart after the display they've shown in all weather this year.I bought lots of different ones for different parts of the garden from very tiny ones to the tall.What I noticed in some small ones I planted around the top of a long tom pot which I had planted aliums in flowered realy well but they had short stems but carried on growing with flowers open.Is this to do with the weather because I planted them at the right time and deep enough I think (tete a tete aprox two bulbs deep).I have to confess to cutting some tops off some at the weekend because they were laying all over tiny aliums and hostas and making ideal snail and slug conditions.I did read in your garden for all seasons book about growing them in pond baskets,it was to late for this years but I am going to do that for next years. May I just wish a get well soon to Monty he's an inspiration to all of us and Berryfields won't be the same.

Gardeners' World Web User 03/04/2011 at 16:19

I have a lot of daffs which have come up this year but not flowered, what should i do, will i have to replace them or will they come again next year.?

Gardeners' World Web User 28/11/2011 at 18:31

Can I just comment on the news that Monty has left the programme - I am very sorry if he is unwell. With regards the gardeners; Carol is perfect for what we want to know about gardening; perhaps you could persuade Pippa to come back, another expert in her field and how about capturing Sarah Raven for the complete range of subjects. Of course Alys keeps the whole thing ticking over. By the way I am in no way sexist; it is just that at the moment, the ladies are the best by far!