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007In hopes of finding a spring flower to show up well on my drab back hillside, I tried a new-to-me variety of grape hyacinth this year.  Muscari ‘Ocean Magic’ is aptly named, as it resembles ocean waves, darker on the bottom with breaking white caps on top.  Mine began to bloom in earnest about a week ago, the first week of May.  They range from three to six inches in height.  So far, none of my resident wildlife has bothered the bulbs, leaves, or flowers.

010They don’t show up as well as I wish against the stones, soil, and weedy grass on that hill.  I suspect I will be happier with them in a year or two, once they naturalize and fill the space more solidly.  They are certainly an improvement over the more common dark purple grape hyacinth, which is barely discernible from my kitchen window view.

I noticed when I ordered these last fall that there is a yellow Muscari. called ‘Golden Fragrance,’  It is considerable more expensive than ‘Ocean Magic,’ at nearly a dollar a bulb, which is probably why I didn’t try it!  Has anyone used ‘Golden Fragrance’ in your own garden?  If so, what did you think?

 Another option I could try in that difficult space is Muscari ‘White Magic,’ but after a winter of staring at snow on the hill, I crave color there!

I did like ‘Ocean Magic’ well enough that this fall I plan to plant some in a group with some later blooming daffodils or even tulips.  The ‘King Alfreds’ and ‘Fortissimos’ were all but done by the time these bloomed.004

Now I wonder if any of my readers can help me identify this daffodil.  It must have been part of a mixed bag I planted a few years ago, before I kept more careful track of what went where.  017My best guess is Narcissus ‘White Lion,’ based on its double white perianth with additional white petals poking through the yellow corona.  They are about twelve to fourteen inches tall, and bloomed in very early May in the partial shade around the kids’ tree house.  It seems to be a good naturalizer, given that I planted it at least three years ago.  I did not think I liked double daffodils, but this one has won my heart!