Thursday, March 13, 2008

Plant of the Month-March 08

For March's Plant of the Month, I have chosen the Narcissus, aka Daffodil, and if you are from around here, aka the 'Buttercup'. This plant is a real wonder, though so much of a wonder I think I sometimes I take it for granted. It comes back each and every year, blooms readily in rain, sleet, or sunshine, and asks very little in return of the gardener. It also multiplies and naturalizes so readily I have to divide mine each year.

And every single year just when I think I have placed all of the daffys exactly where I want them, I still HAVE to do it again the next year! Surely I must be doing something wrong? But no, it is okay. I mean who am I to complain about all of the dividing and free plants? Love the free plants.

The second picture was sent to me by anonymous. She and her young son walk to this front yard each day and they so enjoy these daffodils! Happy Birthday to the sidekick!

There are tons of daffodils here. Can you imagine the gardener taking the time to plant one every foot or so for such a long distance?

I grow about a dozen varieties. Some bloom early (Tete e tete-the third picture and one of my favorites!), some bloom a little later (not sure of the varieties as I do an awful job of keeping up with them), and some bloom late (Salome). I like them all. As a bonus, deer and rodents don't like them so all the better.

I had an awful hard time deciding between the daffys and the hellebores. The daffys won out as Plant of the Month for two reasons. The first being that I had chosen hellebores for last month's Plant of the Month; the second being that there are so many daffys and they truly do show us in a big way that spring is here. The first picture shows some of my daffys with the hellebores. I just love the combination of the yellows and whites, then throw in the pinkish rose of the hellebore and you got a picture!

Daffodils are very easy to grow. I plant mine about 4-6 inches deep along with some bulb booster at planting. They can tolerate very wet soil, as well as dry soil. They do well in our clay soils here. Be sure to leave ALL of the foliage until it has completely yellowed. I do have one area I have hundreds of daffys (Ice Follies mostly) in a lawn area which has naturalized. I don't particularly like this planting method though because I can't mow the grass until late May in that area. I feel it is worth it though. The majority of my daffys are growing in cultivated gardens. This is to allow the foliage to remain unhindered by lawn mowing. You should not braid the foliage, as this could interfere with photosynthesis and the storing of food for next year's flowers.

Sometimes daffys fail to bloom. I find this to be due to one of two reasons. Either the bulb was shocked the year prior and did not have enough time store energy for the flower, or the bulb is not planted deep enough. To solve the first problem-wait another year! To solve the second, dig and replant.

Finally, I have not posted the Jimster in quite a long time and in honor of our last Golden Hugg puppy leaving, here he is with Baby! This picture is the Jimster's final goodbye to Baby. Baby was truly the Jimster's puppy and he will miss her. We know she is going to a good home and wish all the pups and Golden Huggs lots of good fortune. We did enjoy the experience of having puppies-for a short while.

in the garden....working hard!


  1. It is a little sad that Baby is gone but I am sure it will be good to not have a puppy around with enough under feet anyway. You did a GREAT job Tina.

    Shall I say my grandson needs a haircut? Yup, might as well since even Papa said it.

    So that cute little sidekick is now 3 years old. Well tell him we all say Happy Birthday and to make a good wish and blow all the candles out. Oh dear they grow up so darn fast. My "baby" will be the big 40 next month. How did that happen?

  2. My daffys do well, but my little paper whites will only grow foliage. Maybe not deep enough.
    Love the pic of the row of flowers, sure looks nice. Happy birthday to the sidekick!

  3. Hi Tina --loved those daffodil pictures --I won't lie they make me smile when I see them:) I keep thinking Spring!!!! Thank you for the birthday wishes for my sidekick. He is pretty happy --got a new transformer tow truck today:) Hi Jean --thanks for the birthday wishes for my lil man. He is at a really fun stage now --hahaha bossy one minute --cuddly the next :) Tina knows what I mean --he is a bit BOSSY --right? I am glad we got to see the Jimster --he is just sporting the hairstyle that all the boys are wearing now --except mine since daddy said no longer than the ears:) They would love to have that length and style that Jimster wears --all the boys around here look like that --especially the middle school. Really beautiful day today so I must get back outside:) I'll be back to read all your fun posts later --I really enjoy these posts:)

  4. Great pick for this month! Daffodils always say hello to spring!

    The Saints mom wrote me yesterday and was telling me that the squirrels are taking the blooms off the DD stems again this year as they have done the past three years! Dont know why....

    I don’t have much luck with them here. Guess it does not really get cold enough or maybe I don’t have them deep enough…

    Happy Birthday to Sidekick! We share the same birthday month! Mine will be on the 26, the Ram I am...

    Yep, I was thinking what a head full of hair on the Jimster also! I look back at pictures of the Saint at that age and he too had a head full of hair and argued with his mom constantly about hair cuts. He was wrote up a couple of times while in the Air Force also! Now the poor thing is loosing all that hair he loved so much! Tell the Jimster to enjoy it while he has it! LOL...

  5. I love daffs...there is nothing else to say...except I have moved them in full bloom (water well) and take photos of where they are located so you don't chop them into pieces during fall planting


  6. Love the Daffys--wish I could get mine to bloom. They may be in the wrong place. Think I will move them when the foliage dies down.

    Happy Birthday to the Sidekick. They sure are cute at that age. My month too--29, also Young'un on 27.

    Sure good pics. Wonder how long it took to plant all those bulbs. A labor of love for sure.

    A great pic of baby & the Jimster. Memories made for a life time. Treasures to behold. Hair is fine. Mine all had long hair till they got older. I think Jimster looks a lot like Mom. Good qualities.

  7. hey all. hit the magic number of 200 posts. never could've imagined it last year when i started. thanks for everyone's support!

    mom and dad agree the jimster needs a haircut. he had one last thursday. can you believe it?! he boohooed all the way home and you couldn't even tell he had had it cut!

    question for you all?!! given a choice between daffys and hellebores-which would you have chosen? i think i know the answer but thought i'd ask anyhow.

  8. 50 comments on one post is a bunch! i was thinking it is really not so much about the posts as it is about a community, conversations and friends. hmmmmm-see a post here somewhere-that human element again! thanks everyone! comments are big thing for bloggers, and for readers too i think (at least from some of the feedback i have gotten)

    gotta get to the garden. master gardeners tonight. my first meeting here. should be interesting.

  9. Daffys by all means. They stand up proud so you can see them. But let's face it ALL flowers are pretty in their own way. So bring 'em on.

  10. Congrats Tina!!! Lot of work and dedication on your part. It is all fun for the rest of us. That is alot for about 6 months. Thanks for all the enjoyment you have given us all.

    I love Daffys and they are so great after winter but they do not last long so when you consider all elements it is a hard choice. The Daffys sure are pretty and very magnificence when there are a lot of them. Since they stand out so this time of year I think it was the right choice for Plant of the Month.

    Anonymous is this the day of Sidekick's birth date or are you just celebrating it today? Tina's grandson was born on the 13 last year but in April...Fridy the 13th.

  11. so mom, you chose daffys? i bet most others will too. just look at the pics lola sent of some hellebores then let me know if you change your mind....just kidding. daffys were right. i still really like those hellebores though!

    did you know if you pick daffys for flower arranging you have to make sure you don't put them in the same vase as other flowers because they secrete a chemical that is bad for other flowers?

  12. I didn't know that. Could that chemical cause an allergic reaction in some people as well? I never cut them for flower arrangements, I think they look better in the garden. How about the bulbs, could they be poisonous as well? If so have to watch with kids.
    After seeing the Hellebores under planted like that they would make a wonderful woodsy garden. Boy, what a way to wake up to Spring.

  13. lola, i am following you around! narcissus are listed as toxic to people and pets, so yes, not a good idea to eat them, cook them, or ingest the water they are in in any way. the toxicity is why deer and rodents don't eat them. i believe all parts of the plant are poisonous. i just specifically know about the toxins causing problems for other flowers. but if you let the daffys sit in water for like overnight, they should be ok to mix with other flowers. i love cut daffys. but only by themselves as i am so not a plant arranger.

  14. Hi Jean -- my sidekick is a 12 March guy --and I choose Daffodils. I can't envision anything more spring-like --it's like a big happy hello --spring is on its way to me. I really need to get that mulch ordered and delivered --the kiddos have spring break soon:) I guess I am waiting for them to help me, hahaha {evil snicker} I wouldn't want to spread 4 yardfuls of that stuff alone, kwim? Hi Skeeter --I hope your recovery is quick. My boy number 2 had his out about 4 years ago --he did pretty good. Lots of cool ice pops, jello and plenty of loving:) Guess I better get off here --finally Friday tomorrow --whoo-hooh!!! I love Friday --less homework to check --hehehe:0)

  15. Hi Tina --hope you have a great weekend. You are such a busy lady --the kiddos enjoyed your post today since they saw the Jimster. I think it's neat that so many people of all ages can come together for gardening.

  16. good morning anonymous! daffodils it is! i know you and your sidekick really enjoy them a bunch. they are great. i think i made the right decision too.

    yeah for friday-and have fun at the party this evening! tell all the kids i said hello and i'll tell the jimster they were glad to see him.

  17. Our daffodils are just beginning to bloom. I planted them late last fall, but that has probably been good since the snow came. I'm hoping they will bloom at the same time as the Bradford pears. (I don't like them as they are weak trees but we already had them in when we bought the house). Have you ever tried cross pollinating daffodils?

  18. hey dave-good morning. no, i have never tried cross pollinating anything. i would like to but then that would mean collecting seed and planting that. i don't like starting from seed much at all. guess i'll never be a great plant hybridizer and propagator, but i can see that in your future. jenny better get ready for lots more plants! and did you tell her you can ALWAYS find a place for your plants?

  19. My vote goes for the daffies also!
    I rarely cut flowers and bring them into the house. I feel like I am killing them! I like to enjoy them when I am in the yard...

    My grandmother always had some sort of flower from her garden in her silver bud vase. I now have the vase but keep a Ceramic rose plus the silk one that Dragon (Pet People) gave me the first time we met!

  20. daffys it is! so sweet to have your grandmother's bud vase...