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Garden Talk

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"GardenTalk", a regular feature for The Gazette, brings to you the combined experience and expertise of Holly Lake's dedicated gardeners and others. A continuing focus will be subjects of interest to anyone who has ever bought a packet of seeds or dug a hole in the ground for a plant, as well as the dedicated and sharp-eyed observers of nature. "GardenTalk" will not only inform you each issue but solicits your ideas and personal gardening experiences which you may wish to pass on to others. The hope is that "GardenTalk" will enrich us all as well as help make Holly Lake even more beautiful.
A Daffodil By Any Other Name.
By Cecil Wallace
Call ‘em what you will... daffodils, jonquils, narcissi, or whatever, but they are a real treat to the senses of sight (and sometimes smell) come Spring time. What is more rewarding than to see a bed of these beauties nodding their heads in a late Winter or early Spring breeze when most of the rest of the flower bed is still barren? Or to see them naturalized among the trees in your yard?
Then there are the tulips that we often plant for the added beauty that they bring to our early blooming beds. I won't discuss tulips here, mainly because we have to treat them as annuals in our area, or dig them and store them in a refrigerator each year to give them the chilling necessary for flower production. Instead, I will just enjoy them in YOUR flower beds.
Which daffodils/narcissi do I plant? Well, I could confuse both of us by telling you everything I don't know about the twelve divisions of these bulbs. Let's just concentrate on what looks good, has great a fragrance and/or comes back year after year..
If you really want to know about the "divisions," you may look them up on line at: or check them out in a bulb guide. Incidentally, to give proper credit, this web site has been used as the source of a good portion of the info contained in this article. The rest of the information herein comes from personal experience of the writer and some of his acquaintances.
According to the USDA we are in the "South Central" bulb planting region "G" as seen on line at:
You probably have some favorite daffodils that have proven to be winners over the years. My favorites are the ones that have a pleasant scent, multiply easily, and come back year after year.
Here are some daffodils that I like:
‘Geranium' (Tazetta) white, orange, extremely fragrant, late midseason. (My favorite)
‘Carlton' (Large-Cupped) two-toned yellow, vanilla scented, early midseason.(World's leading seller) ‘Trevithian' (Jonquilla) deep yellow, deep yellow, super fragrant, early.
‘Thalia' (Triandrus) white, fruity scent, late midseason ‘Ice Follies' - (Large-Cupped) creamy white petals with sunny yellow cup. (Second best seller in world.)
‘Erlicheer' - (Cluster flowered Double) white, many blooms on each stem, very fragrant, midseason.
Some of the easiest to grow Jonquils can be found in East Texas in the wild. They have been multiplying along roadsides and old homesteads for years. You may be able to ask around and obtain permission to dig them to get a start.
When do I plant my daffodils?
The general rule is to plant Spring flowering bulbs in the Fall, so now is the perfect time to get out there and start planting your daffodils. Another general rule is plant the bulbs at a depth about 3 times the height of the bulb. (Remember that the top of the bulb is the pointy end.) Usually, you want to plant daffodils about 3 to 4 inches deep, in enriched soil that has good drainage.
I learned the hard way that daffodils should not be planted in an area that requires heavy summer watering. The bulbs need a dry area to "rest" during the summer months. If the area is watered regularly, and drainage is not good, the bulbs will rot in the ground..
Squirrels and other small creatures are particular pests at Fall flower bulb planting time. Count on them to RSVP to fall garden parties serving tulip, lily or crocus bulbs - but not daffodils which have a terrible taste (hooray!). Especially popular are gardens littered with bulb-scented debris (those little bags, the papery skins, and other tantalizing things). Yum, yum: just like a neon sign that reads "Good Eats."

There is a problem with armadillos, especially if you put bone meal in the planting hole. They have been known to root up nearly an entire bed of bulbs because they sense the presence of bone meal.

Happy planting. Then enjoy the results next Spring.