Friday, May 15, 2009

How Did My Daffodills Become Daffo-DON'Ts?

When it comes to gardening, I have the patience of a firecracker with a lit fuse. As soon as I plant the bulbs in the ground, I want the darn flower to start growing. Who cares if it’s not the right time of year. I just want to see the fruits of my labor---NOW!

That being said, this is only my second year of planting bulbs in the Fall to reap flowers in the Spring, and I have to tell you, this year was a huge failure. It all began last Fall when I noticed that the local population of squirrels was digging up my yard and running away with all my tulip bulbs. I had planted them the previous Fall, and was like an expectant father in the Spring waiting to see them all come up. And bloom they did, filling my yard with an abundance of Holland’s finest, and making me feel like I might had some sort of latent Green Thumb brewing inside of me. But when the trees failed to produce enough nuts and acorns last year, the squirrels began looking for anything as a substitute, and thus my yard full of tulip bulbs was Rota tilled with so many claws and paws that it began to look like a miniature Grand Canyon.

I became quite discouraged, until someone told me that Squirrels don’t eat the Daffodils bulbs because they’re poisonous. And since I no longer had tulips to look forward to, I decided to throw all my energy into Daffodil cultivation. I bought three bags of bulbs, which ended up being a ridiculous 150 bulbs or something. More than enough for my yard, and then some. And so I set to the backbreaking task of digging holes and distributing the bulbs all over the yard. When I was all through, I stepped back to imagine how beautiful it would all look in the Spring. That is, if I could only last through the winter.

Sure enough, in the Spring, the stems began to break through the ground in alarming numbers. I guess 150 daffodils makes more of an impression than I could imagine…especially when they are spread out as individual attractions all over the garden beds. (Only later, in January, did I learn that you should probably cluster them together in groupings.) Nevertheless, I was very excited to see so much new growth, and glad that none of the bulbs had been confiscated by a woodland creature or a jealous neighbor.

After a week or so, I was happy to see some actual blooming flowers, though not all the Daffodils seemed to bloom at the same time. In fact, some of the stems seemed downright opposed to producing anything that even looked like a bud. And that’s the way they remained for the next several weeks. No flowers, just stems. And since only a half dozen of the flowers actually bloomed, I now have a garden bed filled with nothing but stems. It’s like Mortician Addams decided to do my gardening for me.

Can someone please explain to me what I did wrong? Or is this normal? (I’m sure it’s not, but I can dream, can’t I?) Do some of these Daffodils actually produce flowers the second year of cohabitation with the ground? Or am I forever doomed to a sea of stems every Spring?


Jan from BetterSpines said...

No idea, but that's what happens to me too!

Henson Ray said...

Jan--I guess no one else has that issue...but you and me...sigh!