Got to hurry! Time waits for no man, as my father used to say. Or woman, I might add. Barreling out the back door, I frighten a bluebird who is poised to enjoy a dip in the strategically placed birdbath. So sorry, my beloved, but there is something that needs doing and it cannot wait!
Last fall, on impulse, as is our way, one hundred Narcissus ‘Sailboat’ bulbs were ordered for what we like to call the Woodland Garden. Although this is primo soil, formed by decades of untidied leaf mulch under the dear departed red maple tree, Ferngully, there are roots everywhere from Chamaecyparis, small maples and azaleas densely planted.
The one hundred were divided and planted in ten holes of ten. I knew at the time that was too dense of a planting, but the soil was like concrete after another droughty summer and all of those roots were problematic. I was also a little tired, so in they went with the thought of replanting in the spring. Some might wonder about replanting daffodils in the spring, not fall as is normally recommended. Tosh, I say to that. In fall, the ground is hard and digging is difficult at best, but more importantly, one cannot see where all of the other bulbs are! Click here for a detailed how to on the dividing of daffodils in spring. Onward.
The clusters of blooms were beautiful and highly fragrant of this variety, one of the jonquilla types. But a recent hail storm had knocked them down anyway, and the heat and dryness of summer will be here all too soon. Let the digging commence while the soil is moist and the weather cooler.
Under normal circumstances, the daffodils are dug after being in the ground several years. These newly planteds, and shallowly at that due to rushing, roots and rock hard soil conditions last October, came up easily with no decapitation. What a difference from then to now, in late March, in the ease of shovel thrusting.
Yes, it looks
dreadful less than pleasing after the surgery, but we gardeners must think to the future. Rain is in the forecast, and more importantly, continued cold temperatures for at least another week or so.
With spring bulbs, here in Southeast Tennessee anyway, heat is the enemy. High temps cause the bulbs to have short stems and shorter bloom periods. The longer it is cold, including below freezing and even snowfall, the better the show. Besides, there are a few more clumps of daffodils that need dividing out front. Notice how few flowers are showing in each group? These have been in the ground since 2000, planted seven in a large hole amongst the Liriope. Sigh.