Early Spring Flowers

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Tulips and daffodils are about to begin popping out ion the ground, bringing Spring with it. Jim and I established these new beds last October, in time for planting them out, and planning the low tunnels over the top of them to force the Tulips to bloom in time for Easter 2019. The Daffodils are placed in permanent locations about the property. Most of these tulips will be dug up right before they are cut inorder to produce the long stems required for florists and customers. then the soil will be amend and used for another crop this year.

Petit Four Daffodils getting ready to bloom.

Petit Four Daffodils getting ready to bloom.

Tulips planting in fall.

Tulips planting in fall.

I am a Parrot Tulip nut, so I’ve planted as many varieties as I could get my hands on. A new favourite of mine are double or Peony Flowering Tulips, and the incredible variety available. The more traditional early and mid-season varieties provide over a month of bloom in a garden, while the majority of Double Tulips are late blooming varieties so they are finishing just as Peonies are starting. I am vigilant (along with the dogs) at keeping deer and rodents from eating the tulips, resorting to cages over rows and new this coming season Electric fence used for ducks last season. Another trick to keeping both rodents and deer away from tulips is to create a wire teepee over the row or clump in your garden. it only has to be there until the tulips are tall enough 6” high, because they aren’t the tender morsels they were when they were shorter. Squirrels are another matter entirely!

Salmon Parrot Tulip

Salmon Parrot Tulip

Charming Lady - photo courtesy of Unicorn Blooms

Charming Lady - photo courtesy of Unicorn Blooms

Darwin Hybrids and Triumph Tulips

Darwin Hybrids and Triumph Tulips

This Spring/Winter it seems we are covering over 4 beds - 3 tulips and one for Ranunculus and Anenomes to hasten the bloom along for earlier bloom, as well as another long bed with tulips blooming in season. The mother three beds will be covered as the weather permits. High winds and extreme cold were called for later the day we put this tunnel up.

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This is the first low tunnel up over Parrot Tulips. Next two rows are tulips and last is the Ranunculus & Anenome row

Naturalized Spring bulbs amongst the Lilacs.

Naturalized Spring bulbs amongst the Lilacs.

Scilla - a handful planted out 25 years ago - now they are everywhere in the wooded area.

Scilla - a handful planted out 25 years ago - now they are everywhere in the wooded area.

The specialty Daffodils are my big excitement. My favourite of 2018 was ‘Art Design’ thanks to Unicorn Blooms of Canada, and this year we will have even more varieties. The one thing to remember about cut Daffodils is that in an arrangement they will kill off the rest of the flowers unless properly treated. Assuming you are mixing Daffodils with other cut flowers, you must cut the Daffs and put into a vase by themselves for about an hour, this stops the release of the compound from their stems into the water. Then you can add them into a mixed bouquet. Just remember that if you are cutting the stems of your bouquet 2 days later the same procedure will have to followed. But they are worth trouble if you are going to mix them in with other flowers.

Art Design Daffodil

Art Design Daffodil

Apricot Whirl Daffodil

Apricot Whirl Daffodil

Daffodils are an wonderful long lasting investment in any garden. Yes, the bulbs cost more than Tulips, but they come back every year without diminishment, and multiply as well, if you deadhead the blooms. I love them massed together (as I do Tulips) and naturalize them into the surrounding area. Only issue is not cutting the grass until the leaves die back (Jim hates this). The leaves have to die back in order to provide energy for next year’s bloom. The beautiful shock of colour from naturalized Daffodils in the woods or in and around our property always makes me hopeful for summer. Deer don’t eat them!

Assortment of colour and type of Daffodils

Assortment of colour and type of Daffodils

Front of perennial bed lined with daffodils and second row of daffodils is in front of a peony bed.

Front of perennial bed lined with daffodils and second row of daffodils is in front of a peony bed.

Fritilaria is a new addition for us this year. we are trying them out so there are only two varieties available. Who knows, I may have increase the varieties and total numbers for next year. Hopefully I will have some photos of this years blooms to add to my gallery for 2020.

Spring gardens are often some of the most beautiful due to colours, abundance and bit of hopefulness they bring after a long cold winter. Bulbs are generally very easy care and other than rodents and deer - will bloom year after year.