12 Days of Christmas

Day 12: Anticipation

Narcissus bulbicodium

I have been watching this flower for over a week now with growing excitement. According to the label it is Narcissus fernandesii grown from seed planted in 2014. Each day I monitored its progress, watching as the perianth elongated and slowly started to open. Yesterday I could see the anthers and the style. This morning I went into the garden with the camera.

Predictably it was growing in a corner of the bulb frame where I could not use a tripod. I became so totally involved in trying to take a photograph without flattening the snowdrops, that I did not become aware that there was something a little strange about this Narcissus. Then I looked at the photographs, reached for the reference books and tried not to look too foolish.

It is not N. fernandessii after all, it is N. bulbocodium. Anticipation is everything, but you don’t always get what you expect. Did we get the bulbs or the labels mixed up? Perhaps the seed in the packet was incorrectly labelled? Am I disappointed? Not really, it is still a lovely flower and will be happy when transplanted into the garden with the other bulbocodiums. There is always a chance that the missing fernandesii will appear when I am expecting something else!
This is the last post in the 12 Days of Christmas series and it has ended where it began, with anticipation. Now I can look forward to more gardening and cooking adventures, growing new plants, discovering more about the wildlife on my croft, watching the sun set over the sea and much more. So my last gift is the ability to look forward with a sense of adventure and excitement. You may not get what you expect, but it probably won’t be that bad.

9 thoughts on “12 Days of Christmas

  1. Oh I can imagine your mixed feelings, especially having waited so long for it to have flower after you had sown the seed… It’s certainly a pretty little thing. I ought to keeep an eye open for some N. bulbocodium I planted out last year after growing them in a pot – I don’t usually label the little narcissi if I plant them out, but perhaps I should have done but it would be exciting to find them. I certainly agree that life is an adventure – bring it on!

    • I’ve lust about given up labelling bulbs in the garden. I’m not sure whether they are collected by the wee folk for recycling or just vandalised by the starlings.

      • I wonder what the wee folk might use them for? Depends how we they are, I suppose…

  2. This is a lovely post Christine. It reminds me of when I first started gardening and planted something in my new bed bought while still very tiny. I watered it and checked it daily. (Can’t remember what it was supposed to be now). My neighbour came over one day and we pondered this small plant and she said what I was thinking. ‘It looks like a buttercup.’ And lo and behold, it WAS a buttercup! But I did not dig it up immediately and had a little laugh every time I looked at it!
    I enjoyed this series of posts very much. 😃

  3. It’s a nice photograph, even with the tripod, and am surprised you have Narcissi up already, up there in the Hebrides!

    • It is really very early, perhaps it was the shock of being tured out of a pot in the greenhouse to the outdoor bulb frame. Most of the Narcissi are showing leaves, but I don’t usually see flowers until February.

  4. *without the tripod* I meant.

  5. So much about growing is in the anticipation and, with seed especially, there is always that element of the unknown. But that’s what makes it so exciting for me!
    I dug up an unknown tuber from the nursery bed last year, potted it up with the utmost care in the most expensive compost and what is it? I suspect a wild Arum italicum. Which grow like weeds around here. Oh well.
    I’ve enjoyed the 12 days of Christmas series very much. Thank you and Happy New Year!

  6. Beautiful blog

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