Sunday, March 20, 2016

Gone but still lovely. . . . . . . .


Do you know how to give tender loving care to your fading spring daffodils and narcissus?
Any blooms you didn't cut and bring into the house for color and enjoyment, may now be shriveled, wrinkled, and dried on their sturdy stems, though of course still surrounded by their healthy green leaves.

We know we should do no drastic pruning immediately after blooming - the daffodil bulbs require nutrition from the stems and leaves if they are to naturalize and keep returning year after year. You have to allow all the greenery to turn yellow before the final trimming - perhaps a couple of months from now. Never tie the dying leaves in bunches in hopes of hiding them - that's a huge no-no! This weekend I read in the local newspaper garden section that it's also best to cut off just the actual flower head, not all the way down to the base of the stem which is what I have often done in years past. This is also a good time to add a couple of inches of good compost around the plants, working it into the soil. You can leave your bulbs in the ground, or in pots if you grew them there, until next year - they only require digging up and keeping dry if you plan to move and want to take them with you - something I would consider if that day ever comes!

Of course you now get a few photos - because I think they are still lovely in a different way before popping them, along with some purple pansies that have seen better days, into the bin ready for their next garden effort. . . . . . . making lovely compost.





Next are the tulips, some are just coming into bloom, and the bluebells are just showing buds. As for shrubs, all of my azaleas are now opening their buds. Easter should be very colorful around here, as long as this cold spell, which started today and will continue for a couple of days, isn't too severe. After the recent spell of warm, balmy weather, the first day of Spring has been quite chilly here in the southeast.





16 comments:

  1. Dear Mary, All very good advice. The only thing I can add is that you should never combine fresh daffodils with other flowers but let them sit in water for a day and then mix them into a bouquet the next day. Daffodils have a sticky sap when first cut and will prevent other flowers from taking up water.
    I have dug up daffodils and taken them to the next house. I just couldn't part with some of my favorites.

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  2. There is a special beauty to dried flowers. I have some dried roses on my coffee table from a bouquet my husband gave me. I like seeing their papery loveliness.

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  3. I think that only you Mary could make daffodils look artistic in their faded glory.

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  4. It's so very colourful here too, Mary. I haven't cut any of the (very few) daffodils in our garden. I buy them in bunches at the grocery store and enjoy those few outside.

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  5. They are still very lovely. Thanks for the tips. I have always done the Martha Stewart thing of braiding them to keep down and out of sight. I'll try this method this year and see if I can determine a difference.

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  6. Easter most certainly will be colorful this year. Happy Spring!

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  7. Cold here too but warm week coming. It is hard to turn your head from those dying leaves.

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  8. I absolutely love that you also enjoy the dried and dead blossoms. They are so beautiful. I was just noticing our daffodils in the garden and thinking I need to do the beheading too. One difficult thing with naturalizing them in the lawn is that we can cut the lawn for quite awhile. But I even like those tufts of grass here and there. Our tulips are just on the verge of blooming now and our plum tree just presented up with the beauty of blossoms this week. Oh my it will be a bumper crop again if all those blossoms turn into plums.

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  9. You have the prettiest compost, Mary. Great tips on daffodil growing. I have just a few and they are in full bloom just now, nodding their golden heads on a cloudy morning. It's supposed to warm up this week for us, in preparation for a sunny Easter weekend.

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  10. Mine haven't bloomed yet but we are close. My crocuses have come and gone though.

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  11. My daffodils have been up for weeks but won't be blooming for a few more weeks I think. We're getting a snowstorm here today (about 8 inches so far!) so the daffs are buried again. Great tips regarding the cutting of spent blooms and leaves. I do leave the leaves for a few weeks but get impatient with them and cut them before they yellow. Never had a problem with them reproducing after all these years. :) I have some daffodils that I purchased on the weekend and am enjoying them. Have a good week Mary. xx Pam

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  12. I have weeks/months to go before my daffies are up. . .but I sure do enjoy seeing your photos! What a lovely blog you have, and I'm going to take a look around here, as I would love to see your travel photos.

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  13. I'm now following your lovely blog. My family (well, some of them) came from Devon (not sure what town) to the U.S. in the 1880's. It's my desire to one day visit England, and especially this part of the land.

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  14. Stunning photographs, reminding us to find beauty in old age. And made me think of these words from poet David Ignatow-
    " I wish I understood the beauty
    in leaves falling.
    To whom
    are we beautiful
    as we go?"



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  15. Those really do look gorgeous too and I never knew about cutting the stems higher up as I see you've done here. :)

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  16. The colours are divine - in fact I think I love them more in this faded state. They remind me of an exquisite fabric, silk or taffeta!
    Your notes on bulb care will be added to my garden notebook - I've been cutting the leaves too early. It's good to know these things - my bulbs are precious to me!
    Hugs
    Shane x

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I would enjoy reading your comment - thanks so much for stopping by.

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