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Not exactly a Tete-a-Tete. April 8, 2013

Posted by ourfriendben in gardening.
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Our friend Ben and Silence Dogood love the cheerful little ‘Tete-a-Tete’ daffodils available in pots at groceries, nurseries, etc. now. The abundance of miniature, bright yellow blooms on the plants make you feel like you’re bringing sunshine into the house after the long, dark winter. They’re even lightly fragrant. And they’re so inexpensive, we always buy a few pots in spring to brighten up Hawk’s Haven, our cottage home.

But for us as gardeners, the really great thing about ‘Tete-a-Tete’s is that, once their indoor bloom is over, you can plant them outdoors and they’ll survive and bloom reliably every year. They’ll even multiply, as a good daffodil should. Best of all, you can plant them in spring, after you’ve enjoyed them indoors, and you can see where your other bulbs are so you won’t annihilate the now-dormant bulbs while planting new ones in fall, when you’re “supposed” to plant bulbs. (Grrr, it just isn’t right.)

Mind you, with us, after that first indoor year, they usually reach abour 3 inches in height, forming mats of cheerful yellow rather than daffodil-size plants. But they’re every bit as floriferous in subsequent years as they were in their pot at the store. Just remember to plant them at the front of the garden bed!

This year, however, we were in for a bit of a shock at the first grocery that carried them. They proved to be impostors! The plant tag said ‘Tete-a-Tete’ clear as day. But the plants were taller and the blooms fewer and larger, though still only about a third the size of your average “standard” trumpet daffodil bloom. And we felt that the color was a little washed out compared to a true ‘Tete-a-Tete’.

We planted them out after their bloom was done and the weather (finally) warmed up, anyway, and found a pot of real ‘Tete-a-Tete’s to take their place in the house. But we’re curious about what this impostor bloom really is. Does anyone out there know?

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