Lady Spring slipped in between cold spells and wasn’t she wonderful?
Just look around. The whole world seemed to come alive over a few good days. Wild plum, pear and hawthorn trees are blooming everywhere, as are tulip magnolias, bridal wreath, forsythia and best of all: daffodils.
There are so many varieties, all beautiful, all scented, all gloriously beckoning us outdoors to take a closer look.
There are three different varieties in this picture: Ice Follies, the large white with light lemon trumpets; campernells, the small bright yellow (that you often see growing wild along the roadsides); and the beautiful white with orange trumpets, aptly called Barrett Browning.
Daffodils, jonquils and narcissus are all in the large family Narcissus. There are large ones with huge trumpets down to the tiny jonquillas that grow wild along the roadsides. We are so blessed to live where these little beauties grow, making our springs extra special.
My grandma had a huge area covered with paper whites and other narcissus types. She treasured them and taught me to also. I now have in my yard some of the very ones she grew that she got from her mother and grandmother.
Bulbs grow forever and become perfect pass-along plants to share with others. They need nothing more than well drained soils in full sun or under deciduous trees where they get plenty of sun in winter when they need it most. They need no care, not even water in summer, so they are perfect for hot, dry summers like ours. Sometimes they need to be dug and separated, but only after years of multiplying.
Remember, do not cut off the foliage until two-thirds of it dies back. The green foliage is what makes the food for next year’s flowers. This dying foliage is annoying, but plant your daffodils among perennials such as lantana, salvias and ground covers where their foliage will be hidden by the foliage of the perennials.
Dee Bishop is a Smith County Master Gardener. She writes about plants growing within the Tyler Rose Garden.