I bought a couple of new kinds of narcissus from Peter Nyssen in the autumn. Late of course and then I quickly bunged them in pots, only for them to sit around while I decided where to put them in the garden. N. ‘Elka’ came up nicely and proved a valuable addition to the front of the borders like tête-à-tête. N. ‘Starlight Sensation’ has proved a lot slower to bloom. It is a bit taller than Elka (at ~35cm cf. ~20cm) and they are only now opening up their multi-headed, multi-stemmed flowers … and I have to say that they are rather gorgeous.
They are a rich creamy colour when fully open, but a contrasting buttery yellow before that. Since they are multi-headed and open in sequence, you get to enjoy the both colours and the intermediate changes for a good long while as they develop, like sparklers, burning down the stem.
And since they are being very generous with their blooms, I felt I could pick a few. So I am joining Cathy@ramblinginthegarden for her weekly gathering and sharing of flowers, for a vase, on a Monday (even Bank Holidays!).
Joining the Narcissus are some of my favourite, stalwart spring flowers: the beautiful blue perennial cornflowers (Centaurea montana):
I’ve added a bit of foliage in the form of some coppery Acer (after a bit of necessary pruning to clear the way for our sliding greenhouse door).
And that is it, for the main vase, but since I find throwing the rejected side branches away too hard to do, I’ve added the offcuts of honesty and acer to my shot-glass posey. This was just displaying three N. Tête-à-tête flowers that I picked because they had a lot more than 6 tepals each. In fact they look more like celadines with coronas!
So, that is is my May Bank Holiday vase.
I hope you’ve enjoyed a day off and may be picked a few spring flowers. We’ve finally got some rain this afternoon, but I am certainly not complaining!
Don’t forget to check out Cathy’s post and the links to contributors.
I think I shall have to add Starlight Sensation to my PN list for later in the year – I don’t remember seeing it when I ordered last year. What an interesting assortment you have in your vase – and you have centaurea in bloom already! I shall have to look out for mine, although I have noticed what nice clumps my white variety and the dark C ‘Jordy’ have made. The acer stems make a pretty addition to your vases – what size of plant have they come from? I do have some small acers in pots and have looked at their foliage sometimes but even a single stem for a vase would be too much to lose, I think. Thanks for taking the time to join in today, Allison
How lucky of you to have a sizeable clump of that delicious looking ‘Jordy’! I look forward to seeing it in your vases. My acer is about 5ft tall and is growing in a half barrel container. It’s about 10yrs old now I think. The tree seems to be getting wider rather than taller currently, hence the need for a bit of light pruning on the greenhouse side.
I shall indeed bear them in mind for a vase! There is a bloom open on the white one now, but still none on the blue. Hopefully pruning won’t spoil the shape of your acer. Is the barrel moveable?
I love the Narcissus, particularly as all those I had have been prematurely incinerated by a couple of unseasonable heat spells (part of what I suspect may be our “new normal”). I adore that Centaurea too. Technically, it should grow in my climate but thus far it’s stubbornly refused to do so.
Sad to say that some of our seasonal favourites are getting pushed out of their established zones. I am looking forward to vines being less marginal here though!
Your C. montana are in the same genus as one of my favorites: C. americana, or American basketflower. The genus name has been changed, but most still use Centaurea. The basketflowers dry beautifully, and hold their color. Have you ever tried drying the cornflowers?
I’ve not tried drying C. montana, although I have dried mixed coloured annual cornflowers. I’ll give montana a go this year perhaps. The ‘basket work’ on C. americana is a thing of great beauty! I can see why you love it
Very nice arrangement, Allison! Such a pretty bi-color Narcissus and it plays well off the Acer foliage and contrasting blue of the Centaurea.
Thanks Eliza. The acer leaves were a more successful addition than I’d expected 😉
Love the Narcissus and the floaty foliage in your arrangement. It is always nice to try out new bulbs and sometimes you hit on one you love. I had forgotten it was a bank holiday in the UK… we had ours on Saturday so I barely noticed it!
Thanks Cathy. Yes, the trial and error bit of selecting from catalogues is always interesting and can be quite rewarding! 🙂
The weather took a turn for the worse on Monday, so we had fairly traditional Bank Holiday cloud and rain! Saturday would have been a much better choice!!
And very lovely it is too. I love these little later flowering narcissi.
🙂 Me too!
The blue cornflower brings the other colours out beautifully. What a great thing to have narcissi so late in the season.
Yes, exactly! Late flowerers means you can use them along side tulips. I’ve noted a few really pretty combinations of pale/white narcissus combinations with pink and purple tulips eg at the Hepworth Wakefield Gallery in Yorkshire: https://hepworthwakefield.org/our-story/garden/
Love the tapestry colors and the acer sets everything off. Foliage is a wonderful thing.
Thank you. Tapestry colours is such a good description!
Beautiful! Love the new narcissus. Centaura is always glorious but I’ve had no luck in growing it.
Thanks! N. ‘Starlight Sensation’ is looking more impressive each time I go out to look at it. The clumps are whiter now, but look like cascading Roman Candle fireworks. Definitely a success.