Saturday, February 06, 2016

Daffodils are Back in Bloom

Daffodils are Back in Bloom
Daffodil in Bloom with Budding Carnation,
 © B. Radisavljevic
Every year I look forward to the arrival of my daffodils. The first ones for this year began to bloom about two weeks ago. The minute I saw them blooming my heart warmed up. I took this photo on January 26. 


Daffodils are Back in Bloom
Daffodils in Bloom in Early February
 © B. Radisavljevic


The daffodil above emerged right in front of a carnation. If you click that photo to enlarge it you will see that the carnation is budding and will also be blooming soon. Both carnation and daffodil live in the front flower bed. As I was taking the pictures I see how many weeds are starting to creep in that someone needs to deal with, and suppose I am that someone.

The daffodils to the right live near the corner in the front part of the side bed. You can see an iris behind it near the sidewalk waiting for its turn to bloom in a couple of months. In the back  corner on the left side of the picture you see the dried flower remains of my French lavender which I need to  cut down before the new growth begins.


Daffodils are Back in Bloom
Daffodil and Hyssop in Bloom
 © B. Radisavljevic

Back in the front flower bed, I was surprised to see a bit of hyssop blooming next to this daffodil. Usually I don't see any of the purple hyssop flowers until June. You will probably have to click to enlarge the photo to see it, since the hyssop flowers are small. The daffodil sprang up between the extended hyssop branches. You can still see the dried flowers from last year forming a backdrop for its brilliant yellow.

One thing I love about daffodils is that they can push their way through almost anything. They are one flower I can plant that the gophers will leave alone. They brighten the world for a few weeks, and then they are gone and the tulips and irises take over. A few small tulips are beginning to push through the soil now, but they don't usually do very well here.

I think it's about time to feed these bulb plants some fish emulsion. I like to garden organically, and I use fish emulsion for many of my plants. I don't like to use chemical fertilizers. Since we can't depend on rain here in Paso Robles to water in granular fertilizers or powders, I like using the liquid fish emulsion because I can dilute it for application before applying it and it can go straight for the root zone. I have pretty well neglected these daffodils since I planted them in the fall of 2013, so maybe it's time to feed them. The ones pictured below in the front flower bed are in the poorest soil of all of them . You can see they are a bit shorter than the ones in the front flower bed.

Daffodils are Back in Bloom
Contrast between Budding and Blooming Daffodils , © B. Radisavljevic


I see it's also time to put out the organic snail bait. I have successfully used Sluggo and Garden Safe brands because they are made with iron phosphate. These baits won't hurts pets, wildlife or beneficial insects. I was sceptical at first as to  whether they would really kill snails, but I found out first hand that they do. You can even use this  around vegetables and herbs you plan to eat. The photo below will show you why I need to get the snail bait applied.

Daffodils are Back in Bloom
Snails Attacked Both Buds and Blooms of These Daffodils, © B. Radisavljevic

Notice that as the flowers were opening they began to be attacked. They live beside a jasmine vine and the snails hide out under it. Now that the rains have come, the snails are active again. You can still see the damage when the flowers were in full bloom, and in the bottom right photo you can see there's almost nothing left of them.

I have many more daffodil buds still to open, so I'm hoping these bright beauties will be around for a few more weeks. I always hate to see the last one die down.

Are you growing any daffodils this year?