Spring appeared spontaneously in March. We went from total winter inertness into a delight of daffodils almost instantly. Plus the bonus of flowering trees and Lenten Rose in full display. Even the brief interruption of 8” of snow a couple of weeks ago couldn’t stop the procession of the seasons.
Our daffodils represent 30 years of living in the same house. I’ve managed to spread the daffodils not only to all niches of our yard, but pass the bounty on to many others in the Charleston area, and establish outposts in Ohio, Richmond Virginia, and near Ft. Worth Texas. It is easy to be generous when you only have to dig up the bulbs that are crowding the surface and replace the lot with a few of those I’ve extracted. Now is the time – the 3 or 4 weeks in the spring – when all of the past work shines in its glory. Soon will come the jonquils as the last blooms of the spring, with multiple flower heads making up for the lower numbers of bulbs.
Then all that will be left are the green leaves of the flowers. If you merely leave these in place, until June when they tend to blend with the dirt after they’ve fertilized the bulbs below, you will be guaranteed of flowers next spring. And for us, the added benefit is that the deer will not touch them. They dislike both the daffodils and the Lenten Rose, so we’ve cultivated both of these species to colonize our slopes and shaded flower beds.
With my knee now functional, I should have much less of a problem in getting down on the ground to weed the flower beds, and dig up those bulbs whose heads poke up above the ground. I’m looking forward to that, since for the last few years it has been a struggle any time I sank down to the level of the flowers. If I could only find flowers that bloomed later in the year that deer wouldn’t treat as their buffet, I’d be happy. We try lantana every year, and sometimes it does not get munched, but it is not immune to the deer predation. Plus it gets expensive to buy lantana by the flat. So far we also have found lavender that deer don’t like, so we’re going to try some more of it. Plants like coneflower have not done well for us.
At least I am only worried about the marauding deer disrupting our flower beds. I am grateful that I don’t have to worry about tanks and armored personnel carriers and the boots of the enemy tromping around. I feel for the people of Ukraine, who will find this year’s spring to be a hollow reminder of what should be instead of what is.