Spring is here … or not yet ?

Any true self respected Brit will quest over the weather on a daily basis. It is the national obsession next to gardening and DIY. But with recent changed in the weather over the global pattern, many unwanted surprises await us. Like keeping the seedlings longer indoors. Like my poor primulas which caught a frost after a week of glorious and promising sunshine. In spite of the Summer time starting soon. Summer ?. Did you say?.

But nothing cheers for the coming of Spring than a good bunch of daffodils in my vase. And checking how the bulbs are doing outside.

The National Flower of Wales, tradition there has people wear a daffodil (or a leek is an acceptable alternative) on St. David’s Day (March 1rst,) and this may have been partially influenced by the name “Dafydd”,  the Welsh form of “David.” The actual source of the name “daffodil” as you can see, is up to interpretation.

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Folklore and tradition would have you believe that all daffodils are yellow ranging to golden-yellow color only although with selective breeding and even some wild species, the perianth and the corona can be of varying colors. Selective breeding of daffodils for color and design have yielded new shapes, double, triple and multiple rows and layers have been created. Surely, even more varieties and variants of existing daffodils can be achieved.

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The beautiful Medusa of the flower world, but while looking is always safe, touching can bring distress to some.  A common effects of contact with daffodils is a form of dermatitis, which can be a problem for florists and hobbyists whom handle daffodils for long periods or repeatedly. Blamed on the exposure of calcium oxalate in the sap of daffodils, florists often have what is called ‘daffodil itch.’ This is often accompanied by hyperkeratosis; a thickening of the skin beneath the nails. Generally, the symptoms of ‘daffodil itch’ are dryness, scaling, fissures of the skin that crack and bleed, and erythema (a redness of the skin caused by capillary congestion) in the hands.

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Eye-popping Colors of Spring. Bluebells and Daffodils

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A successful flowerbed that includes daffodils looks best when planted as if they have always been there.  A technique to achieve this ‘wild’ state is to cast handfuls of bulbs upon the prepared flowerbed, randomly, and wher ethey land is where they shall be planted. Daffodil roots fare best when planted in cooler soils, -the Autumn just around the time that the leaves begin to lose their leaves is an ideal time to plant your garden of daffodils for Spring emergence.

Planted twice as deep and the bulb is tall and pointy-end upwards, established and naturallized daffodils can bloom for decades, possibly as long as for 50 years. The make great edge runners and backdrops for shorts or medium-height flowers.

Serene Flowerbed

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Daffodils do best in well-drained and slightly acidic soils. Soil that is too alkaline can be sweetened with garden sulfur, available at any horticultural or gardening center.  And great news about including daffodils in your flowerbed or garden, -unlike tulip and lily bulbs, deer and squirrel don’t like the taste of daffodil bulbs and tend to leave them alone! This makes them a favorite with moms (and mother-in-laws… ask me!) everywhere, in case you were wondering.


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