Separating Sailboat

Sierra Exif JPEG
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!

Sierra Exif JPEG
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.

March 20, 2013 old 001 (2)
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.

March 20, 2013 old 002 (2)
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.

March 20, 2013 old 004 (2)
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.

March 20, 2013 old 005 (2)
The bulbs were quite large when planted, and seem to have grown even larger over the winter. Holding the bulb tightly, it is gently pulled from the soil and root tangle of the clump.

March 20, 2013 old 008 (2)
Three bulbs were replanted back from whence they came, leaving a nice cache to spread about the area. Most of the ten clumps were so treated. Separating and spreading happened.

March 20, 2013 old 009 (2)
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.

March 20,2013 013 (2)
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.

March 17, 2013 old 012 (2)
But worry not, it will get done in due time. Spring is here, after all. Rejoice!


This entry was posted in Plant Portrait, Projects, Seasonal Chores, wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Separating Sailboat

  1. gittan says:

    Ooooohhhhh….. Your garden looks wonderful Frances. We´re still having winter, can you believe that! This time of year??? None of the springflowers have bloomed yet… And I think that WHEN spring finaly arrives the garden will explode! But untill then, I´ll have to drop by at yours to enjoy and long… and hope for no more snow!
    Have a nice day / Lots of Kramar gittan

    Dear Gittan, thanks for stopping by here. I am sorry you still are having winter, we actually have snow in the forecast! Many parts of the US are under snow covers with very cold temps, too. We are lucky in Southeast Tennessee to have so many flowers blooming now. Your spring will come, I promise!
    Double Kram to you!

  2. Valerie says:

    I love all your clumps of daffodils. It looks like spring there. The snow plow just went down the road here so it will be a while yet. Valerie

    Hi Valerie, thanks. Spring has sprung here, even though the thermometer needs a bit of a nudge upward. No complaints though, cooler is good for the bulb show. Your spring will come, tell those snow plows to make way for it!

  3. gail says:

    Frances, What an inspiring post~I must get out into the garden and finish dividing my narcissus and move them to the sunniest spots I can find. Those are premium spots! Have a sweet weekend.xoxoxogail

    Hi Gail, glad to be of help. The thing I love about daffodils is that they can go right next of other perennials, like daylilies and others that will grow and hide the curing daff foliage and provide another layer of garden interest.

  4. As is often the case with your posts, you hit on just the task I needed a nudge to get moving on. While doing a walk about with a neighbor the other day, I noticed some super robust clumps of daffodils that were mostly leaves with very few flowers. I knew in my heart what my course of action should be but I succumbed to out of sight …out of mind syndrome and haven’t gotten back to them for dividing. You have lit the fire of motivation….thanks! And, you mentioned that the ‘Sailboat’ variety is highly fragrant. I always take extra pleasure in the daffodils that are aromatic because they are especially nice to cut and bring into the house.

    Hi Michaele, glad to be of assistance! HA. The same thing happens to me, out of sight, out of mind. That is why those daff clumps in the front have not been divided for so long. Sailboat is a sweetheart.

  5. Rose says:

    I am entranced by your river of daffodils, Frances–simply beautiful! My daffodils are just barely poking through the soil, so no blooms yet. But thanks for the reminder that moving them can be done in the spring. Fall bulb planting always seems to be finished in a hurry and rather carelessly here, so I’m always rather surprised when they all show up in the spring in the strangest places.

    Hi Rose, thanks for visiting. It is so hard to dig here in the fall, and of course I cannot keep from buying more bulbs, even though we have plenty and I can’t see where the best spots are to plant new ones. Moving them in spring is a good plan.

  6. Cindy says:

    I love that last picture!

    Thanks Cindy. I thought it was a piece of plant debris and went to brush it away and it moved! Click!

  7. Christy says:

    Hi Frances!! All of your daffys are just beaufiful. I don’t have many daffys (I’m getting more), but I’ve never divided the ones I have. I’ll need to do that in the future.

    Hi Christy, thanks. I have come to love the earliest daffodils more and more with each passing year. They usher in spring and are so cheerful. The critters don’t eat them and they are so reliable at returning. A little dividing will give you free plants and help the overall show, too. Win, win!

  8. _emily_rose says:

    This makes me feel so much better about moving some of my daffodils right now. I have some in the weirdest places, like in the middle of my gravel driveway!

    Wow, Emily Rose, what a strange place for daffodils! It does sound like you need to do some moving.

    I know! I’m living in my great grandmother’s cottage house, and I think that the driveway must have been moved at some point, on top of one of her old gardens : (

    PS I love that you plant daffodils 100 at a time, I planted 100 last year, and 80 other bulbs, and I am thrilled with the results, and hope to make it a tradition!

    I used to think 100 bulbs was a lot. Now I know better. You can get good prices at Van Engelen for bulk bulbs. That is where I got Sailboat and many other things.

  9. I admire your focus. I never seem to get things done when the time is right!

    Hi Marian, thanks. Sometimes I am laser focused, sometimes I am not. Dividing the daffodils give a huge payoff that has been noticed year after year. That helps it get done.

  10. I love how daffodils look in the natural woodland garden setting. I do need to remember to add some bulbs to mine this fall. I agree the soil is great right now with all the moisture. I wish they would invent heated gloves so I could spend even more time digging. 🙂

    Hi Karin, thanks. I do like the look of the mass planting of daffs under the trees, too. Digging is a joy right now, so different from later in the summer and fall. I find that the Atlas felt lined rubber coated gloves work best for winter work. I buy them by the case.

    • Thanks for the recommendation. i will have to try them out. I do go through gardening gloves pretty quickly too so I had to giggle that you by them by the case 🙂

      Thanks Karen. I really am hard on gardening gloves and found that it was way cheaper to buy them by the dozen! HA

  11. I have been taking notes and hope to relocate daffodils myself this spring. But first the snow has to melt, and then the soil has to thaw . . .

    Taking notes is a good idea, Kathy. I do that too, writing down task ideas as they come to me so I don’t forget those brilliants ideas! Your spring will come…

  12. Lola says:

    I do love those daffs in the spring. I have a few blooming now but they are only 1 to a bunch. Need to remedy that. Did get the back yard mowed & some of the Back Corner Garden mulched to kill the Dew Berry. Haven’t a clue where it came from.

    Good for you getting out there Lola! It does sound like your daffs could use some dividing.

  13. I think you’re one smart cookie for separating them when you can see them. We all know things to do in our gardens that work for us. Garden writers should take note.

    Thanks for your support, Dee. Doing the daff digging now is what works and makes sense in my garden. I have even branched out the divided some other bulbs in late winter, too, like tulips and camassias.

  14. I want 10,000 more daffodils. And someone to plant them for me!

    I might need to do some dividing out there myself as the blooms were a bit underwhelming this year. The jobs never end.

    Right, Jill, the jobs never end. Gardens grow and change daily, and thank goodness for that! Keep on plugging away at planting the daffs, you will get that 10,000 before you know it.

  15. Lynn Hunt says:

    Thanks for the great tutorial, Frances. You have given me the courage to separate some of the mini daffs I planted down by the creek in the fall of 2011. It is just sensible to do it in the spring when you can see the dang things!! (And get a preview of how they will look in their new home.)

    Hi Lynn, thanks for adding to the conversation. Sensible is the word, when you can see what’s going on.

  16. entwinedlife says:

    Lovely, Lovely Daffs!
    They make me want to laugh.
    Narcissus in Spring – fit for a King,
    Make me want to sing…

    Very nice, Jayme, thanks for sharing here!

  17. Sue Ellen says:

    There are more daffodils blooming here everyday. There are several clumps that need to be divided so I may try your method. Goodness knows I will not remember where to plant them this fall. I have guessed wrong more than once where I thought the other bulbs were.

    Hi Sue Ellen, thanks for adding in here. How anyone would know exactly where spring blooming bulbs are planted by the time fall rolls around is beyond comprehension. Now is the time…

  18. This is a beautiful variety, I love white or partially white daffodils.

    Hi Jason, thanks. This one opens a pale yellow trumpet that fades to even light over time. It is a beauty.

  19. Your photos are so beautiful and so very much fun. Thank you for sharing.

    What a sweet thing to say, thanks Charlie!

  20. Carol says:

    Yes, there is no time like blooming time to dig and divide those daffodils. Onward, Sailor-gardener, onward!

    Thanks for your support, Carol. Yes, onward to sail into the sunset, er, sunrise!

  21. Indeed patience is a major key in gardening. A great example of this one is your Narcissus ‘Sailboat’. And I just love it.

    So true, Nelson, thanks for visiting. If you are not a patient person so begin with, gardening will quickly teach you all about it.

Comments are closed.