The Dirt

Poems and Favorite Daffodils

 All through long and cold winter, I find myself dreaming of that moment when you finally realize spring has sprung. For me, it is usually when I notice nodding daffodil heads during the commute or on an errand run. It’s like the Wordsworth poem I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud:

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.


And on goes good old William, waxing lovely. I casually asked my colleagues here at Fine Gardening, what is your favorite daffodil? Here are two, plus my top pick.

 Michelle Gervais, Senior Editor, adores ‘Actaea’

I love poeticus daffodils. They’re so cute with their tiny little cups and rounded petals. ‘Actaea’ is my absolute favorite with its fresh, snowy white petals and tiny yellow cups rimmed in red. It has a strong fragrance, too!


Narcissus ‘Actaea’

Zones: 3 to 9

Size: 12 to 18 inches

Narcissus ‘Actaea’ Photo/Illustration: Used under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication





Antonio Reis, Product Manager, always goes to ‘Spellbinder’

Look at that daff’s gradient! Creamy trumpet crescendos into a brighter saucer on the blossom. It’s like Renoir took a brush to this variety and painted it to perfection. I love cutting ‘Spellbinder’ and placing it in a tall silver vase with yellow parrot tulips – a very happy arrangement to welcome spring.


Narcissus ‘Spellbinder’

Zones: 3 to 7

Size: 18 to 20 inches tall

Narcissus ‘Spellbinder’ Photo/Illustration: Photo courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden





Lynn Felici-Gallant, Associate Editor, is all about ‘Thalia

‘Thalia’! It has pure white, multiple, out-facing, fragrant, sweet blossoms that are even more cheerful in early spring than the ubiquitous yellow daffodil. It pairs well with early blue perennials and ephemerals, as is shown in the image. I could have an entire spring garden of them and be perfectly happy.


Narcissus ‘Thalia’

Zones: 3 to 8

Size: 12 to 18 inches tall



Lynn Felici-Gallant


Most importantly, what is your favorite daffodil? Go ahead — be narcissistic and tell us. It’s Narcissus we’re discussing, after all.


View Comments


  1. purpleflowers 03/17/2014

    Hi Lynn: What are Ephemerals? Are they the pretty blue flower as an under planting for the Talias? Perennial or annual? I've seen them many times and always wanted to know the name. I'd like to plant them for my garden. Thanks.

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