Pink Pride

'Pink Pride'
Large-cupped Daffodil


It is daffodil time, so the robins all cry,
For the sun's a big daffodil up in the sky,
And when down the midnight the owl calls "to-whoo"!
Why, then the round moon is a daffodil too;
Now sheer to the bough-tops the sap starts to climb,
So, merry my masters, it's daffodil time.

- Clinton Scollard (1860 - 1932),
Daffodil Time

   

There was a time when there were no such things as pink daffodils. England's legendary narcissus breeder Mrs. R(obert) O(rmston) Backhouse (i.e., Sarah Elizabeth Backhouse, 1857-1921) developed the very first pink daffodil, more widely introduced to gardening in 1923, soon after her death. All these decades later, with many pink varieties now in production, they're still comparatively rare in peoples' gardens.

Pink PrideThe 'Pink Pride' blossoms can start out as early as February, although in our garden they are in full bloom at the tail-end of March & throughout April. They have large cups (or corona) that start orangish-pink at the frilly edges, with lemon yellow further down the cup as well as in the throat, as shown in the March-end photo. The orange & yellow ages to a soft peach pink as the blossom progresses through April.

The colorfully chameleonic & ruffled cup is set against six large moderately reflexed white petals (the perianth) which show off the startling colors of the cup particularly well.

We planted eight 'Pink Pride' bulbs together with eight of daffodil called 'Yellow Cheerfulness,' which has a gardenia-like pale yellow double-flower & a dwarf of about eight inches tall, much shorter than 'Pink Pride' which reaches eighteen inches.

'Yellow Cheerfulness' blooms slightly later than 'Pink Pride,' extending the length of time there will be blooms amidst this mixed patch of narcissus-grass. They are in a roadside sun-garden near a Northern Red Currant Bush, & a large Rhododendron 'Jean Marie.'

Most of the roadside gardens are low water management, but the rhody & berry need to be watered, so this so is a good place for the narcissus which don't like to quite entirely dry out even during their summer dormancy.

'Pink Pride' does not really like freezing temperatures into the teens, so the bulbs will need a thick level of winter mulching to survive zones with hard frosts. On mild Puget Sound, however, even an unusual cold spell doesn't last long enough to harm them, & they need no special winter protection.

One interesting little difference about 'Pink Pride' is how it lifts its flower-face a little upward, or faces outward level, the opposite of so many narcissi that bow their heads low. The stems however are of uneven strength & some of the flowers will lean.

As with all narcissi, they very strongly desire to face their corolas in the direction of the sun, & if there is more light at the back of the garden than at the front, they will be facing the wrong way for frontal observation.

   



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