garden ponderings


A Daffodil Story

A personal story here:
My daughter’s birthday is at the end of March.  We have lived on this same property for over 30 years and always had fresh daffodils for her birthday.
In 1994, Daddy brought a bouquet of daffodils from our property to our daughter, when he flew into another state to see her on her birthday.
The last few years the daffodils have been blooming earlier than usual.
Now, I do understand that 30 years in the spectrum of time is quite small, even the Mississippi River has changed course in the last 30 years.
We have had milder winters these last few years, I wonder that global warming is a reality.
Today is February 21, we have had 2 or 3 daffodils bloom on our 55 acres already.
This is how I note the sunniest spots at this time of year.
There are hundreds of daffodils planted on our land.  They naturalize so well, I keep dividing and replanting on any sunny spot I can find.
Closer to the house, near a main flowerbed, here is the progress of daffodils.
Just beginning to open their petals.

I took this photo when the sun peeked through the clouds for a bit today.
No rain is in the forecast this next week.  When sunny days are predicted, we often have foggy mornings.  Depending on the amount of sun, all the daffodils may bloom this week.

I see daffodils blooming along the interstate freeway (6 miles to the west), and in the nearby towns to the south.  We live in the hills north of town where I have observed our flowers bloom 10 – 14 days later .



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I suppose some people just think of narcissi as smelly daffodils, but I love their heady scent.
In my garden they are scattered around, but I keep thinking that they need to be deliberately planted where I can savor their aroma while walking in the early springtime.  This will be the type of project where one small idea snowballs into a big one.  The walking paths that would benefit from narcissus at their edge, already have plants that would need to be moved first.  One move will beget another move, will beget another move, etc.  Never a dull moment here.  Or:  lots of grand ideas.

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They’re on!  I love when the daffodils come into bloom.
Such a wondrous sign of spring.

Years ago, the daffodils would all bloom at the same time, now it is different.  As the seedlings we planted thirty years ago have grown into tall trees, there is shade in places there was not shade previously.  If you look at the photo carefully, there are a couple of flower buds not yet open at the far right.  They are partially shaded by an evergreen tree.  I now have clumps of daffodils at different stage of bloom all over my yard.  On the up-side, the bloom-time should be extended, as the bulbs in the shade will flower a bit later than the ones living in more direct sunlight.


First Daffodil Bloom

Copy of DSCN1930This flower is on the south side of my home, which is the warmest site, of course.  What is more interesting to me, is that just a few weeks ago, I moved and separated a number of daffodils, including this one.  They had been inside a deer-proof fence, which is unnecessary for anything in the narcissus family.  When I noticed the leaves emerging from the ground, there was a warmer day that I took a shovel and decided to give some daffodils a new home.  The weather was cool and wet enough that they did not mind the move.

Now to remember after blooming, and when the leaves have died down, to take a shovel to the daffodils that did not get moved and separated this winter.  There are lots of them to be dealt with.

Lamb’s Ear

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Lamb's Ear

I’ve seen this plant turn into a thick mat and take over an area. While it is pretty, and is an unusual, decorative touch in bouquets, I want to be in control. So, I learned that if these do not get watered, they do not take over. Although, I do make sure they get just enough water to stay alive during a hot summer.

Those are waning daffodil leaves turning yellow and laying down to dry out for the summer. Lavender starts are getting established also, in the background.

Heather with Daffodil Bulbs

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Heather with Daffodil Bulbs

This heather has been in the same place for at least 25 years. The daffodil bulbs were planted at the edges of a few of the heathers, now they come up in the middle of the plants.
I have a few different heathers planted around, since the deer do not eat them, but this one flowers are the largest and prettiest of the heathers. (imho)
It also comes in pink, but the pink plants did not grow as prolifically as the white ones did. They are still alive, but much smaller.