“When I first saw how the wild daffodils,” says Thierry Dronet of Le Jardin de Berchigranges, “particularly the species daffodil Narcissus jonquilla, transformed the meadows here in the mountains into a sea of yellow petals, I knew I wanted to have lots and lots of them in our garden,” he says.
Over the years Thierry has added many other species and cultivars to the local wild types. In total there are around 80,000 narcissus bulbs of 600 different cultivars and some species, joined every autumn by hundreds of new bulbs of Camassia, Hyacinthoides, Allium, Scillaand Erythronium. “But I still love the species daffodils the best,” says Thierry.
He he selects some of his favourites, including the double white cultivar ‘Berchigranges’ that originated here in the garden.
Bred in the Netherlands in 2007, this cultivar with a pink, split trumpet has a strong scent.
Thierry particularly loves the delicate scent of this wild species, which has a discreet, red-rimmed trumpet.
45cm. AGM*. USDA 5b-10b†.
A double variant of the well-known ‘Itzim’ cultivar. A dainty cyclamineus cultivar with back-folded perianth segments or petals.
A tiny double, ideal for pots and balconies.
15cm. USDA 5a-9b.
An impressive cultivar, with a split corona. Petals vary from ivory white to a creamy yellow, and an orange trumpet that seems to glow.
45cm. USDA 4a-9b.
This dainty cyclamineus cultivar, with a sulphur-yellow trumpet that fades over time, is good for naturalising.
45cm. AGM. USDA 4a-9b.
Elegant double with a creamy-white wreath of petals around an apricot-coloured trumpet.
35cm. USDA 4a-11.
Several sweet-smelling flowers appear on a single stem on this jonquilla daffodil.
20cm. USDA 3a-9b.
Nodding, lime-yellow flowers with a pleasant scent. Prefers a slightly acid soil and a dry summer. Triandrus.
45cm. AGM. USDA 5a-11.
The large, cupped petals are usually yellow, but when they start to fade, they make the orange trumpet stand out all the more.
40cm. USDA 4a-9b.
Thierry discovered this double, creamy-white daffodil in his own garden. In 2007, he released it as a cultivar – the only French narcissus registered by the RHS.
Narcissus ‘Golden Echo’
A jonquilla cultivar bred around ten years ago by Brent and Becky’s Bulbs, in Virginia, USA. Very delicate with a conspicuous trumpet.
30cm. USDA 3a-9b.
• Le Jardin de Berchigranges
Images Sabrina Rothe