Mercervale Daffodils and Nursery


18 July

First bulbocodium flowering

6 August

Spring coming N. bulbocodium cantabricus clusii N. bulbocodium ‘Jessamy’ N. bulbocodium mesatlanticus

You could be forgiven for thinking that nothing happens over September!  Things got very busy I’m afraid.  I managed a photo of the paddock just at the beginning.  I had just got a new camera (now that’s another story!!) and was trying it out.

Pic at left is first year down new bed in paddock ground 2

2 September

It was indicative of the season to come with so many varieties already in flower.  Early and mid season flowering was 10 days to 3 weeks early!  At planting I decided to try and cut down on the excessive walking etc during the busy time so we divided the varieties into 3 groups – early, mid and late.  Great idea and did help BUT with a crazy spring like this I was finding quite a number of varieties in all three groups all flowering at the same time!

Things then got rather busy and my photographing was strictly limited to filling gaps in my collection of variety photos.  Did I say I had a new camera?  My old one was great but was only 3.2mgp (don’t laugh!).  Imagine my disappointment when I came in from a session with my new one, downloaded the images, and was confronted with really awful, out of focus photos.  So I headed back over and took several with both cameras – back to the computer and (thankfully) both cameras were equally awful.  The common factor here was …. ME!  Can I have got that old and shaky in just one year?  Well, yes, it would appear so, so I’ve been practising heaps, playing with settings, and getting better, but looking for a tripod now.  Sigh.

21 September

I had plenty of flowers and a bit of energy so travelled to Outram to enter and set up a trade display at their spring show.  It was a great show, as often the smaller community shows are, and my Rheban Red was the champion bloom (photo bottom left).  It grows well for me every year.

27 September

Thursday afternoon and night till late saw us at the Edgar Centre, Dunedin where the BIG show was being held (South Island National Show & World Daffodil Convention).  I was pleased to have a few OK flowers to enter and even got a few prizes.  It was a delight to meet up with a few people previously met before and some lovely people from overseas.  As I worked I greatly enjoyed the drifts of conversation, many different accents, and snatches of talk of chromozones, breeding breakthroughs and sharing of tall tales.  Donald amused himself while I worked on my flowers and had a great chat with a Scotsman (also a Donald), and a US cattle farmer in particular.  Here’s some pics of a few flowers that took my eye at the show. 

Aisling Banker Birthday Boy Hunter seedling Jammin

It was great to see other South Otago daff lovers entering and Fay Lowery, Balclutha, got the Premier Bloom in the Non Members section with a delightful miniature cyclamineus.  This flower also won the Balclutha Show Grand Champ the following Thursday.

Miniature Premier at the SI National Show Premier Miniature at the Balclutha Spring Show

Some of my entries in the Open Section of the National below - I very much enjoyed the ‘homework’ involved in the Historics classes. 

Gold Convention My seedling Historics Entry Seedling NM11-12-1b

I also entered the Dunedin Hort Show and was thrilled to win the trophy for 12 varieties, 3 of each.  There were 5 other competitors – very pleasing.

Top, L to R – Helen O’More, Broomhill, Gold Convention,, Kiwi Carnival

Mid, L to R – Welcome, Barndance (minus Premier), Cherrygardens, Goldhanger (minus Premier)

Bottom, L to R – Solar Disc, Woodland Beauty, Kingston Flyer, Neon Blaze (darn, chopped off – blame the camera)

1 October

We were very pleased to welcome Jason Delaney, a delegate from the States, to Waitepeka following the World Daffodil Convention. We were in the paddock until dark, exploring the daffs.  Jason’s delight at seeing some of the older varieties, and those which are difficult to keep in the St Louis climate, was inspiring.  Seeing your home patch through someone else’s eyes make you appreciate it all the more.  Donald took him on a lambing beat then more daffs!  In the morning he did a couple of crosses, another quick look at the daffs and he was on his way again.  We really enjoyed the company, and for me to talk daffs and not see the listener’s eyes glaze over!!!

Left:  Jason was able to confirm the identification of this wee sweety – ‘Agnes Harvey’ 5WW – the first time I’ve seen it flower

I have had this for 20 or so years and this is the only time I’ve seen flowers.  It was called ‘George Broughton’ but this name isn’t in the register.  Jason suggested it may be what they call the Texas Star.  Either way it appreciated last year’s long, hot, dry summer so it’s some serious abuse for it from now on.  No namby pamby watering and cosseting for George!

1 October

Balclutha Spring Show was later this year. Badbury Rings was the Chamption Bloom for me

A nice bloom of the old variety Camellia in the novice section