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Graham Rice on Trials

Updates on trials and awards from the Royal Horticultural Society by Graham Rice

AGM Narcissus at Wisley

Posted by Graham Rice on 13 Apr 2010 at 03:54 PM

Narcissus 'Intrigue',daffodil,AGM Image: © Do not reproduce in any way without permission.All over the country the daffodils are at their peak – and Wisley is no exception. You’ll see the displays almost as soon as you get there. But make your way to the trials field and you’ll find a rather special display. Every one of the daffodils which have been given an Award of Garden Merit after being trialed at Wisley. It’s a great opportunity to choose your favourites from amongst those already chosen as the best of the best. So that’s what I did yesterday. Three stood out. Two of those that I especially liked were more subtle types, and one was more bold and traditional.

‘Intrigue’ (above, click to enlarge) is very unusual. It’s a yellow and white bicolour in a unique pattern, both cup and petals are bicoloured. The cup of each flower is white at the tip and lemon yellow at the base, while the petals are the reverse – white at the centre and yellow at the tips. It’s gorgeous. And with three flowers on each stem the display is both stylish and colourful.Narcissus 'Reggae',daffodil,AGM Image: © Do not reproduce in any way without permission.

Another that I especially liked was ‘Reggae’ (left, click to enlarge). I’m not sure quite how the name relates to the flower, but this is a very neat, and short, cyclamineus hybrid. The cup is pale salmon, the petals are slightly swept back and white. The result is a very appealing group.

Finally, I was also struck by a more traditional daffodil. ‘Goldfinger’ was the traditional yellow trumpet daffodil (a ‘King Alfred’ type, if you like) with a very dramatic impact. Both trumpet and petals are vivid yellow but, unlike the flowers of the similar ‘Arkle’, the flowers aged well; in ‘Arkle’, the tips of the trumpets turned papery as they aged. ‘Goldfinger’ aged more gracefully.

There are masses more AGM daffodils to see. Although some are over, some are only just starting to open. Well worth a look. And you can see the whole list on the RHS website.


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