Daffodils: Spring's unsung heroes

The relationship I have with daffodils is one that has evolved over the last decade. For a time, I thought of daffodils as the ugly stepsister to the showier and more varied queen of spring bulbs, the tulip. They were something I merely tolerated because I wanted something blooming but knew that tulips would be ravaged by critters in most of my garden. Then I started appreciating the cheery color they brought at that time when a gardener so needs to see something blooming. Soon after, I discovered all the different varieties of daffodils and now I have a whole new appreciation for them.

I'd like to say I planned it, but to be honest, I got lucky and inadvertently planted varieties that bloom at different times so I have about two months of daffodil blooms to enjoy. I don't pay much attention to their names so some are unknown to me, but others I pay more attention to. 

I don't do anything special to my daffodils. These days I just dig a hole and throw a bunch of them in as I prefer to have large clumps vs. individual flowers scattered here and there. I don't fertilize them. I do leave the foliage standing as long as I can possibly tolerate it (although I braid it and tied it into little packages), but that's it.

Some varieties have already finished blooming (I believe my first bloom was April 7 this year, a record for me, I believe), but others are just now coming into their glory. Here's a sampling of the daffodils you'll find around my yard.











I have to say, I'm partial to the doubles, but what amazes me most is the lovely scent that some of them have. It is sweet and decidedly not daffodil-like. They will never play second fiddle to a tulip in my yard again.