Pots and containers filled with colourful flowers are guaranteed to liven up dull spring days and give a zing of colour to your garden early in the year. Autumn is the time to be choosing and planting spring flowering bulbs as they need time to grow.
There are plenty of suitable Narcissi (the Latin name for daffodils) to choose from to fill containers in your garden. So I’ve chosen to look among the miniature daffodils.
The issue here is recommending only 5 miniature daffodils for pots and containers!
Decorative pots by your front door may be enjoyed by passing pedestrians as well as family. containers on patios and terraces in the back garden are more private.
If you have a limited budget, or limited space, I would suggest deciding where to put the daffodils will depend on where you’re most likely to enjoy them.For example, do you rush through the front garden, but linger by the back door with your morning cuppa? Or perhaps you don’t venture out into the back garden until the weather is warmer? In which case spring flowers, particularly scented flowers, near your front door would seem a better choice.
For those gardeners with small courtyard gardens and balconies, containers filled with sweetly scented flowers are a real bonus. Generally speaking, those smaller more enclosed spaces will enable you to fully enjoy the fragrance when windows are open on milder spring days. A sunny balcony seems to encourage you to sit out even if it means wearing a coat. And for some reason, the sight of yellow narcissus makes the sun seem warmer!
5 miniature daffodils for pots
I’ve only suggested miniature daffodils for pots for two main reasons. Firstly, if you have daffodils in your flower borders they’re likely to be larger varieties, so you’ll get a contrast in flower form and size. Secondly, suggesting miniature daffodils for pots enables everyone to enjoy the scent and colour of these heralds of spring.
Your Narcissus do not have to be scented. You may fall in love with one for its flower shape or colour. However, I have only suggested scented daffodils below as I feel this gives an extra pleasure.
Narcissus cordubensis has deep gold flowers which can be quite strongly scented. One of the Jonquil group of daffodils, it flowers March – April. It has a short corona and grows about 25cm tall. Flowers best in a moist, fertile soil so remember to water!
One of the miniature Narcissus, growing to about 10-15 cm. It is however a ‘proper looking’ daffodil with bright yellow trumpets and a long corona. Just like its bigger cousins who were so admired by Wordsworth. Fragrant flowers during February – March make this an early herald of spring.
Named after Agatha Christie’s detective Hercule Poirot, this bulbocodium daffodil has greenish white petals with a green centre. To me this ‘modern’ green colouring on the petals contrasts in style with its hoop petticoat flowers – and I love it. Another small Narcissus, reaching about 10-12 cm.
A native of Spain and Portugal, this miniature Narcissus is considered to be scarce in the wild. All the more reason, perhaps to grow it in your garden and keep the species viable. I love its reflexed petals. Almost as if the little daffodil is so bursting with life that the petals have been swept back in its enthusiasm. A parent of many other miniature daffodil hybrids such as tete a tete, this Narcissus will flower from early March.
Narcissus cyclamineus ‘snipe’
White reflexed petals give contrast to the pale yellow corona. Like all cyclamineus daffodils, snipe is more shade tolerant than many Narcissus. It arguably has a lighter scent than some, but is so pretty and delicate at 10-12 cm high.
You may like to plant these miniature daffodils for pots in taller pots, the better to appreciate their scent. The yellows and whites would look chic in tall stainless steel containers in an urban setting. For a more traditional or upcycled effect, look for chimney pots in second hand markets and at vintage fairs.
And, importantly, now is the time of year to be choosing your miniature daffodils and planting them into containers ready for flowering next spring. Enjoy!