Narcissus Daffodil, jonquil, daffadowndilly, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest

Daffodil Meadow

Years ago, I lived beside Beacon Hill Park’s daffodil meadow.  It was the first I’d ever seen.  Spring magic.

Narcissus Daffodil, jonquil, daffadowndilly, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by BE Hansen

The happy yellow blooms delight me.  Plus, I like the little trumpets that protect the flower’s naughty bits from the early rains.
Clever, eh?   🙂

The deer-resistant Narcissus is easy to grow in Victoria.  Many varieties are even cold tolerant to zone 3, surviving  -40 degrees C!  We don’t get anywhere near that cold here.  Actually, as our winters gradually become milder, we’re encountering daffodil woes similar to England’s.

Narcissus Daffodil, jonquil, daffadowndilly, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Many of the daffs that show up in your local grocery store’s flower stand originate in Victoria.  Famous for producing the largest crop of daffodils in Canada, Vantreights took an early lead in making the daffodil the Flower of Hope for the Canadian Cancer Society.

Narcissus Daffodil, jonquil, daffadowndilly, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

At one point, Vantreights farmed on a leased parcel of land that is now The Horticultural Centre of the Pacific, one of my favourite gardens.  Today the HCP enjoys a residual daffodil meadow sloping down to the lake.

daffodils Narcissus at Camosun College garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Vantreights farmed in Gordon Head before that land became a residential subdivision.  I’ve even heard that our street, on the southern slope of Mt. Tolmie, hosted a farm that grew the bulbs, too.

Narcissus Daffodil, jonquil, daffadowndilly, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

There are some tricks to growing a spring-flowering meadow.  Although daffodils bloom before the grasses start to grow strongly, their leaves are still busy collecting energy for next year’s flowers when C has the uncontrollable urge to dust off the lawnmower.    Zip, there goes the meadow!

Narcissus Daffodil, jonquil, daffadowndilly, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

The park’s staff at Beacon Hill let the meadow grow naturally all through May before mowing.  By then, the ephemeral bulbs have ripened & receded into dormancy.

Shorter growing spring bulbs, like crocus, stand half a chance in our lawn, but not daffodils.  Ditto for snowdrops, tulips & camas. These I’ll leave to naturalize in our beds & borders instead.

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P.S.  Here’s some other meadow faves:

 

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