Last year, we enjoyed March temperatures that rose well into the seventies. This year, we spent our St. Patrick’s Day amidst flurries and green beverages whose ice could’ve kept cold if left outdoors. Charming as it is, these brisk and often sunless days of our Wisconsin winter, here at Belle Fiori, we definitely have spring on the brain.
We yearn for the days when we can spend time in the garden, enjoying colors other than the brown, monochromatic schemes we’ve become accustomed to. So today we ask that you daydream along with us, and remember the beautiful blooms we hope to see sprouting soon. Because at least reading about a sunny little daffodil can raise our spirits, right?
Either way, seeing daffodils blooming along the railroad tracks on my way to work in the morning is one of my favorite mood-boosting triggers, and I’m counting the days until those little yellow buds peak their heads out of snowless grounds…
THE MEANING & SYMBOLISM OF
NARCISSUS / DAFFODIL
“Symbolizing rebirth and new beginnings, the daffodil is virtually synonymous with spring. Though their botanic name is narcissus, daffodils are sometimes called jonquils, and in England, because of their long association with Lent, they’re known as the “Lent Lily.” Lore connecting the daffodil to not only a sign of winter’s end but a lucky emblem of future prosperity is found throughout the world. In Wales, it’s said if you spot the first daffodil of the season, your next 12 months will be filled with wealth, and Chinese legend has it that if a daffodil bulb is forced to bloom during the New Year, it will bring good luck to your home.
The March birth flower and the 10th wedding anniversary flower, a gift of daffodils is said to ensure happiness. But always remember to present daffodils in a bunch – the same legends that associate this cheerful flower with good fortune warn us that when given as a single bloom, a daffodil can foretell misfortune.”
Interested in growing or maintaining your own Daffodils? Here are some helpful tips!
•Give your Tete-a-Tete daffodils 1 inch of water weekly if it hasn’t rained. Begin watering when the leaves appear above ground in the spring. Continue the weekly watering until 3 weeks after they finish flowering. Stop watering at this point. Never overwater because the bulbs will rot in the ground.
•Fertilize when the daffodils begin to bloom with a fertilizer low in nitrogen such as 8-24-24, 2-6-12 or 1-2-2. Follow the label instructions for mixing and applying the fertilizer. Mix bonemeal with the fertilizer at 2 cups per 100 square feet of garden space for the final fertilization in the fall just after they finish blooming. Rake the fertilizer and bonemeal into the soil and water well.
•Pick the dead blooms off the plants, or deadhead, regularly during blooming to keep them from setting seed.
•Cut the foliage to 1 inch above ground 6 to 8 weeks after the end of blooming to prepare the Tete-a-Tete daffodils for winter. Mulch with 2 inches of straw or dried leaves for the winter. Remove an inch of the mulch in early spring. Alternatively, dig up the bulbs, rinse off the dirt, cut off the leaves and place them in a mesh bag or old nylon stocking and hang them in a cool, well-ventilated area until fall.
•Replant the Tete-a-Tete daffodil bulbs in late fall 6 inches deep and 6 inches apart in well-drained soil in full to part sun.
•Divide Tete-a-Tete daffodils every 5 to 10 years to eliminate overcrowding. At 6 to 8 weeks after blooming stops, loosen the soil around the plant with a trowel, being careful not to slice into the bulbs. Grasp the plant at the base of the leaves and gently pull the bulbs out of the ground. If they don’t come out easily, use the trowel to loosen the dirt. Once the bulbs are out, carefully pull the bulb mass apart and set half of it back into the original spot. Cover with soil and pat firmly. Replant the other half of the bulb mass immediately or hang them to dry for the summer.