Troy is a plantsman, author, photographer and garden designer who co-hosts Nashville Public Television's hit gardening show, Volunteer Gardener.  He has recently joined forces with Garden Travelers, of Indianapolis, Indiana, leading unique, small group garden and history focused tours both at home and abroad. His personal blog, "Gardener Cook" is a hit with gardeners and food enthusiasts, alike. For more information about Troy, visit troybmarden.com.
 

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Where, Oh Where, Is Spring?
by Troy Marden - posted 03/01/14

With the winter we have experienced this year, it seems that spring may never arrive. Good news! Winter's days are numbered--literally--and spring is just around the corner.

One of the first true signs of spring in my garden and in the fence rows and pastures along the country roads where I live is the flowering of Narcissus pseudonarcissus, the bright yellow daffodil that has naturalized itself on old homesteads and farms all over the South. I can't think of anything more cheerful than its bright yellow flowers that appear in late February and early March, brightening up the landscape during winter's last drab and dreary days.

Narcissus pseudonarcissus

 

These "wild" daffodils are soon joined by other garden varieties whose flowers continue opening throughout March and into early and mid-April. In a good year, the daffodil season will start in late February in my garden and last for nearly two months, with the very latest varieties finishing up in mid-April.

Some of my favorite narcissus, or daffodils, are the species and wild forms that have been grown for many generations throughout the South and include the following:

Narcissus 'Von Sion', also known as "butter and eggs".

 

Narcissus poeticus var. ornatus, the "Pheasant's Eye" narcissus, is one of the very last narcissus, or daffodils, to flower. Often, it is still blooming near the beginning of May!  Just remember that the later they flower, the later into the season their foliage will remain standing in the garden. It is important to leave the foliage of ALL of your daffodils standing for at least 6 weeks AFTER they finish flowering to give them enough time to store energy to flower again the following year. Cutting or mowing them down sooner may affect the quantity and quality of blooms next season and repeated early cutting over a period of years will eventually starve the bulbs out entirely!

 

 

 

 

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