Daffodils – A Garden of White Daffodils

White daffodils? Yes, I know most people think of daffodils as yellow, but if you want, you can plant an entire garden with white daffodils, and still have representatives from all divisions of the classification, blooming over a month or more.

Why would you want only white daffodils? Perhaps to have a garden that is just a little bit different. Or maybe you have shrubs blooming at the same time which would clash with the yellow and orange or pink daffodils. White daffodils will fill the bill nicely for early color in the garden. A green and white color scheme is cool and soothing, though cool probably doesn’t matter in early spring.

Your white daffodil garden will begin blooming just a few days later than the big yellow trumpet daffodils, but the smallish cyclamineus hybrid, ‘Cazique’ is one of the first daffodils to bloom in my garden each year. The cup opens yellow, but soon fades to white, and the perianth flies back like those of a cyclamen. (Clever name for the type, don’t you think? Cyclamineus hybrids because the petals reflex like a cyclamen.) ‘Jenny’ and ‘Durango’ also fit this category, though the cup on ‘Jenny’ opens yellow. ‘Mary Lou,’ shown at the top of this page, also fits this category, but blooms later.

The typical trumpet daffodils come in white also. The old ‘Mount Hood’ still makes a wonderful garden display. You can probably find it at your garden center this fall. Other wonderful white trumpet daffodils are ‘Empress of Ireland,’ ‘Silent Valley,’ ‘Nile,’ and ‘Panache.’ The old ‘Rashee’ blooms later, near the end of daffodil season, and is welcome among the shorter cupped daffodils then.

Large cupped daffodils have cups which are shorter than the petals, and some of my favorite daffodils are found in this division. You might try ‘Gull’ and ‘Homestead,’ both of which have been awarded The American Daffodil Society’s Pannill Award for exhibition flowers. ‘Guiding Light’ from New Zealand, and ‘Who’s Who’ and ‘Lady Diana’ from Australia add to the international flair in the garden. Other favorites include ‘Silk Cut,’ ‘Areley Kings,’ and ‘Stoke Doyle’ from Britain; and the elegant ‘River Queen’ from Virginia. ‘Inverpolly’ is one of the latest of this type to bloom.

Short-cupped daffodils have cups not more than one-third the length of the petals, and I don’t think you can find a better choice than ‘Cool Crystal’ (pictured). Bred in Oregon, it has won awards on both sides of the Atlantic. ‘Verona,’ ‘Silverwood,’ and ‘Angel,’ are all great choices. And if you can locate ‘Dallas,’ by all means add it to your garden. It is one of the whitest daffodils, and blooms at the end of daffodil season. A bloom of ‘Dallas’ held up next to many other white daffodils makes the others look gray in comparison.

For double white daffodils, look for the older ‘Gay Song,’ or the Dutch-bred ‘Obdam.’ Newer and pricier are ‘Ice Diamond’ from Oregon and ‘Huon Pride’ and ‘Shykoski’ from Tasmania. Smaller and fragrant blooms are found on ‘Daphne,’ ‘Rose of May,’ and ‘Santa Claus.’ Most of these smaller blooms have been bred from the fragrant poeticus hybrids, and are among the last daffodils to bloom

For white triandrus hybrids with several pendent blooms per stem, look no further than the bells and chimes from Grant Mitsch Novelty Daffodils in Oregon. ‘Mission Bells,’ ‘Ringing Bells,’ ‘Russian Chimes,’ ‘Spring Chimes,’ and ‘Sunday Chimes’ all please the discriminating gardener. Older ‘Thalia’ and ‘Tresamble’ are wonderful in the garden as well, as is the double sport of ‘Tresamble,’ ‘White Marvel.’

White jonquil hybrids are not as abundant, but you can’t fail to fall in love with ‘Dainty Miss.’ Perfect little blooms between 1-1/2 to 2-inches across are borne one per stem in great profusion. ‘Eland’ and the newer ‘Ladies Choice,’(pictured) with several blooms per stem, add variety to this division.

White tazetta hybrids are mostly the domain of the paperwhites, but there is one which should do well outdoors in most climates–’Silver Chimes.’ If you live where winters are not severe, you might also look for ‘Scilly White’ and ‘Polly’s Pearl.’ These all have upwards of six blooms per stem and are fragrant.

Bulbocodium hybrids are best grown in pots in my area, but can be grown outdoors where winter is not severe. But they will need dry conditions in the summer to ensure bloom the following year. ‘Fyno’, a miniature from Australia, is becoming widely available, and others are on the way.

White split corona daffodils include ‘Cassata’ and ‘Ice Crystal.’ ‘Changing Colours’ goes through a series of color changes before ending up as white.

Some white daffodils may be a bit difficult to grow in some climates. As a class, the white trumpets and large cups are more susceptible to basal rot. To guard against rot, you can dip the bulbs in a fungicide (such as benomyl) before planting. They seem to fare worse in hot, moist weather.

Most of the bulbs mentioned are available from specialist daffodil growers. You can find the addresses on The American Daffodil Society home page. (see links)

Caribbean Travel and Culture – Roatan: The Caribbean’s Best Kept Secret

Pristine beaches and amazing jungle-covered hills, heartwarming people and unique cultures, world renowned diving and endless activities, authentic Caribbean charm and inexpensive accommodations – Can travelers even dare to dream that such a wonderland exists? Even if it does, it’s surely overcrowded with tourists and burdened with aggressive local hagglers peddling their wares. However, this dream is a spacious, haggler-free reality, and it’s one of the Caribbean’s best kept secrets. This Eden is the island of Roatan, the most developed of the Bay Islands chain located just 40 miles northeast of mainland Honduras.

This Caribbean secret is steeped in culture and history. The friendly, English-speaking population offers a unique blend of African, Spanish, Paya Indian, and British cultures. British and Spanish settlers invaded the Paya as their respective countries fought over possession of Roatan in the 16th century. Soon after, pirates numbering nearly 5,000, including Henry Morgan and associates, claimed Roatan as their stronghold. During the height of the slave trade, Roatan became a dumping ground for rebellious slaves that the British could no longer control. These marooned slaves, now called Maroons or Garifuna, form a present day ethnic group near the town of Punta Gorda.

This unique mix of people and cultures, presently controlled by Honduras, has created a population that is rich in tradition yet welcoming to visitors. In addition, while islanders have plenty of wares to exhibit and offer to visitors, hagglers and aggressive salespeople are virtually non-existent. Plus, with both the lempira and the U.S. dollar widely accepted, shopping on Roatan is a pleasant, atypical Caribbean experience.

The island itself is a mere 28 miles long and an average of four miles wide – creating easy navigation on its one major paved road and endless adventurous exploration off this well worn path. The world’s second largest barrier reef lies just 100 yards off shore, and several marinas and dive operations offer countless opportunities to view the abundant species of coral, tropical fish, and aquatic animals. Due to its semi-mountainous jungle and 1998′s Hurricane Mitch, little food is produced, and few products are manufactured on the island. Aside from fruits, vegetables, and seafood, all food and most manufactured products are easily transported to Roatan from mainland Honduras via daily ferries and flights.

Each of Roatan’s quaint communities seems to offer its own special blend of authentic Caribbean culture and charm. Located near the southwest corner of the island, Coxen Hole is the point of arrival for almost all visitors and the capital of the Bay Islands. In addition to the airport and ferryboat docks, Coxen Hole also houses most of the island’s banks, plenty of restaurants and souvenir shops, and a couple of quaint hotels and lively discos.

Small Business Virtualize Your Company

Two of the biggest problems facing businesses of any size are high costs and government policy constraints. Major factors in high costs are the cost of facilities and the cost of maintaining a competent pool of employees. Government policy is a problem because many initiatives result in a legal framework which is contradictory, is applied inconsistently, will not result in the stated policy aims with resulting corrections and uncertainty down the road and because policy is often made by people who don’t understand how business works.

Computers and the Internet have made the “virtual corporation” a viable possibility. Pure virtual corporations own no facilities and have no employees. They therefore have a much better control of their costs. Because they have no employees, many government policies simply don’t apply and, should taxes or other factors become too onerous, the virtual corporation can move to a different jurisdiction simply by saying in has moved. If a virtual corporation contracts competent people to answer its phones it won’t even need to rent an office.

Conventional management which cut its teeth on developing strategies for its employees to follow and by evaluating employees on how successfully strategies were implemented is very uncomfortable with this approach. With no facilities and no employees there is very little left to manage. Can it be that companies can grow and be successful by helping people achieve their own goals? Can companies find people who will work hard to generate profits if it helps them to get where they want to go? Can this process work without supervision of the workers, without daily close contact between the workers and management and without the many strict rules and policies which a typical company lives by?

Right now we don’t know. If you don’t think this can possibly work with your company, there are lots of traditional things you can do to make it work better. If you think it might, try it by contracting out several of the key activites of your company and by giving new work to contract workers rather than employees. Check this link for a brief discussion of some difficulties that might be anticipated and some solutions.

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