Monday, April 25, 2011

A Bit Daffy

With April's eponymous showers providing consistent moisture the gardens here in Seekonk seem to be growing overnight. It's been a particularly banner year for daffodils and the cool temperatures and gentle rain have kept the abundant blossoms from fading. For the past decade I've planted hundreds of new bulbs each fall and this year the resulting display has been exuberant to say the least.

In the front garden I've concentrated on primarily pink-cupped narcissus. Years ago the variety, Salome, was the premier cultivar in this new trend. Its flowers,however, were actually a yellowish-apricot. But more recent selections like Accent, which I planted in the bed bordering the lawn, produce flowers with trumpets that are more truly pink.

In the Hot Colored garden I've selected predominantly yellow and orange cultivars.

And of course in the Blue and White garden I've chosen exclusively white varieties.

That color scheme, however, has been compromised by a miss-labeled shipment of bulbs that I planted a few years ago. Uncharacteristically I haven't had the heart to rip them out yet.

Further muddying my palette are clusters of an old fashioned double yellow variety that randomly appear without regard for my strict artistic sensibilities. Most these end up in vases in my house.

In fact for the past month I've been cutting armloads of daffodils without putting much of dent in the outdoor display.

On rainy  days It's a real luxury to have flowers from the garden on my kitchen table. It's a luxury, which I like to share. I gave the arrangement pictured below to a friend as a housewarming gift.

The only drawback to planting so many daffodils is the resulting mass of strap-like foliage, which must be allowed to ripen. Unfortunately, to ensure that the bulbs will flower next spring the leaves cannot be removed until they have turned brown. While I try to mask the dying vegetation with perennials, a brief but unsightly phase is almost unavoidable.

But then I guess every rose has its thorns.