There are several other types of bulbs that bloom earlier in the spring garden but few combine the ‘cute as a button’ charm, steadfastness and ease of availability of the ‘Tete a Tete’ miniature daffodil. Growers are able to force this variety by planting them in winter and then cooling the pots to promote root growth so they’re ready to bloom many weeks before spring’s arrival outside. A pot of these beauties set on your windowsill in January gives us hope for spring’s arrival. When the gardener’s favourite season finally does arrive, plant the pot out in the garden and enjoy them for years to come.

Narcissus ‘Tete a Tete’ belongs to a group of miscellaneous daffodils (Division 12) that arise from hybridizing with other species or hybrids, usually those with a larger flower. The result is a cultivar with a compact size and vigorous character, in this case a perfect miniature replica of a larger daffodil. The plants grow just 15 to 20 cm. tall, with one to three buttercup-yellow blooms per stem. They multiply rapidly but never become too aggressive in the garden. Plant in a sunny area with well-drained soil. Normal bloom time is late March to early April in the Okanagan, but forced pots become available in garden centres in late January. Bulbs can be purchased in the fall as well.

In the garden ‘Tete a Tete’ combines beautifully with other early spring blooming bulbs like Muscari and Crocus, as well as perennials like Arabis, Iberis and Aubretia. They can be massed together, or grown in more intimate groups throughout your flower beds. Plant them where they can be seen and appreciated up close. ‘Tete a Tete’ are ideal for spring containers, mixed with pansies, ranunculus, spring heathers and other forced bulbs in pots to create a welcoming scene at your front door.

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