Right now I am enjoying the height of my daffodil* season with daffodils of various sorts blooming as rivers in both my front and back yard. Actually, these rivers of daffodils began blooming in mid February and will continue into mid April. The key to success with this kind of extended bloom is choosing varieties that bloom at different times.
The earliest daffodil I have found is ‘Rijnveld’s Early Sensation’ that often blooms with the crocuses. It is a large trumpet daffodil, about 18” tall and bears up to three large (3”) flowers per bulb with soft yellow petals and a vivid gold trumpet. Like other trumpet daffodils it is a good naturalizer and has a long bloom season. Interplanted with these very early daffodils is ‘Carlton’, an early to mid season daffodil that starts blooming before ‘Rijnveld’s Early Sensation’ end and continues for several weeks longer. ‘Carlton’ is a large cupped golden daffodil with a strong perennial nature and is especially recommended for the South.
In another part of my garden I plant two rivers of white daffodils that bloom in a similar fashion, although slightly later. Like the previous combination, both of these rivers contain two cultivars that bloom at different times. The earlier of the two is ‘Ice Follies’ an early, 16”-18” tall, large cupped cultivar that is also a good naturalizer and does well in the South. The flowers are very large (4”) and have white petals and a frilled funnel-shaped, chartreuse yellow cup that fades to creamy white as the flower ages. It is an award wining naturalizer. I interplant ‘Ice Follies’ with ‘Thalia’, also known as the “Orchid Narcissus. It is a triandrus daffodil, 16”-18” tall, bearing up to five nodding white fragrant flowers per stem . Each flower has recurved petals and a cup-shaped crown. It is a good naturalizer and does well in the South. ‘Thalia’ is a more delicate looking flower than ‘Ice Follies’ bloom as ‘Ice Follies’ fade.
*According to Wikipedia daffodil is the common name for the the genus Narcissus and the word is used here in this context.