Saturday, May 30, 2009

Daily Dose of Daffodils and Tulips

I see as I walk past gardens, different ways gardeners have handled the unsightly left-overs of a beautiful spring garden that was once daffodils and tulips.

The very last thing you want to do is cut down the plant. That's like putting a stake through a gardeners heart.

Bulbs grace us with their early display of colorful life, drawing from the bulb the life it has stored over winter, life it has saved for the thrust of splendor few plants in our yards can muster that early in the season. What would we do without these harbingers of spring to lighten the dreary cold days that linger from winter.

If you cut down those scraggly leaves and stems with no color left, the bulb has nothing to replenish the life it has so freely given for our early spring pleasure.

I have seen two separate answers to dealing with the not so pretty aftermath of the daffodil and tulips lovely display.

This first one is the first time I have seen such an innovative solution. To bend the leaves down and rubberband them, so they can continue to send the life saving energy to the bulb without "being in your face" with the scraggly colorless remnants of a once beautiful display.

The other is a more traditional solution, to interplant the bulb with a late arrival in the garden. Plant with a perennial that is slow to wake up in the spring and somewhat slow to get started to give the bulb time to replensh itself before it is shaded out by the perennial.

Handle your bulbs properly and they will flourish and multiply and bring you great pleasure year after year.