Yellow Cheerfulness

'Yellow Cheerfulness'
Double Daffodil

"Had we never loved at all, who knows
If yonder daffodil had lured the bee
Into its gilded womb."

-Oscar Wilde,


I planted eight double 'Yellow Cheerfulness' daffodils which according to the catalog was supposed to bloom late spring (April or May), together with eight large-cupped 'Pink Pride' daffodils which bloom mid-spring, so I figured this would maximiz maximixing the length of time for flowers amidst the daffodil grass.

It turned out that both of them started blooming early in April, 'Pink Pride' by the first week of the month, 'Yellow Cheerfulness' a week later; but the real mistake of mixing them was how 'Pink Pride' got so much taller than the catalog's discription promised. Its height plus the enormity of the flower on 'Pink Pride' all but hides little 'Yellow Cheerfulness.' It wasn't a hopelessly foolish pairing, however, so I've no intention of trying to separate them ever.

'Yellow Cheerfulness' is a spice-scented heirloom classic, introduced to gardening by the Eggink Brothers in 1937. They developed it from an older cultivar called 'Cheerfulness' that has only a little yellow at its heart so is predominantly white, & which blooms a couple of weeks sooner.

In 1995, the Royal Horticultural Society gave it the Award of Garden Merit, acknowleding its long-held status as a garden favorite of great beauty & superior performance.

This is a true double primrose-yellow, with both the interior corona & surrounding perianth having many extra petals. There are other doubles for which only the cup, or only the perianth is double, but this is a full double. It might not look like a daffodil at all to most people, as each stem will be graced by two or three gardenia-like flowers.

'Yellow Cheerfulness' & its white sister 'Cheerfulness' can do well in partial shade, & even adapt to areas under walnut trees. The bulbs are less appealing to squirrels than, say, crocus bulbs, so any critters living in said walnut tree ought to leave the narcissus bulbs where they're planted.

Ours are out in considerable sun, as they naturalize more quickly in a sunny location, though it's all a balancing act, for sun may exhaust the blooms sooner than when 'Yellow Cheerfulness' is in just a little shade. Perhaps the good thing about planting them in amidst a larger daffodil is that the larger one will provide enough shade to keep the heat-sensitive blooms from being prematurely exhausted in full sun.


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