Loves Austin; here to stay forever

ice.jpgNarcissus “Ice Follies” appears without fail for Valentine’s Day every year, year after year, and is ideal for the easy-care person who puts something into the ground and wants to forget about it forever.

Ice Follies have sturdy stems that keep them from toppling in the wind and the rain. The cups begin as a sharp, strong yellow and then gradually become lighter and creamier as the days go on. The image is scanned from one of the flowers picked early yesterday so that some cheapskate suitor wouldn’t steal it to present to his or her Valentine. It has been open for a while so it’s paler than it was when it first opened.

In the fall, Ice Follies is one of the varieties that’s always available, locally as well as from mail-order sources. As with every type of bulb, the larger ones cost more, but they all produce and make a great show in the yard or indoors as cut flowers. Expect more than one flower from each bulb. Just let the leaves die back and disappear naturally if you want a return of flowers in the spring. This is the time to see them all over Austin and to begin thinking about where you’d like to plant them in the fall in order to enjoy them next year. And the year after that. And the one after that, pretty much in perpetuity.

Here, they’re mostly scattered in the grass. If they’re not put there intentionally, the squirrels may do it for you. They may dig them up but they will not eat them. The leaves die back before it’s time to do any mowing.

1 Comment so far

  1. M Sinclair Stevens (unregistered) on February 15th, 2006 @ 3:18 pm

    Mine are really late this year–they haven’t even started sending up stalks yet, so I don’t expect flowers for another couple of weeks. In my garden, I’ve only had ‘Ice Follies’ blooming on Valentine’s about half the years I’ve kept track.

    The flower I associate with Valentine’s Day in Austin is the redbud.



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