November 07, 2011

I’ll be seeing you in…April

I needed a little dirt therapy this weekend. I'm sure most of you can relate to craving this rich black/brown stuff under your fingernailsespecially in late winter when you're feeling withdrawal.

And the time was right to add a little color to the early spring line-up. During our first spring here 12 years ago, the front garden came alive with bright red and yellow Tulips, which the rabbits have slowly destroyed over the years. I won’t plant more Tulips here until I have a dog to chase away the long-eared demons.

But rabbit-resistant Daffodils are a different story! No time to lose.

I decided to plant large-cupped, bright yellow Narcissus ‘Carlton,’ which look similar to these mini-Daffodils, but grow to 16-18 inches tall.

I determined where to plant the bulbs, and divided them into equal piles.

Daffodils need to be planted to a depth of 6-8 inches. (Check out this handy bulb-planting guide, and follow the instructions on your bulbs' packaging.) A handled bulb planter doesn’t make much sense for this job, so I grabbed the shovel.

I checked to make sure each planting hole was deep enough, and then carefully placed the bulbs.

I added lava rocks at various depths to discourage little digging critters from disturbing the bulbs, and covered the top layer with bark mulch.

All that’s left is to look forward to the transformation and the big reveal in April.

Sheesh, that’s a long way off!


  1. Yea for bulbs! I love them... probably because I love spring. I start longing for it in January and it intensifies for almost three months before it gets here!

    Lava rocks are a new idea to me. I have used gravel before.
    Pretty daffodil choice!

  2. My bulbs are all in - now just ticking the days off till spring. I have a feeling it is going to be a long wait.

  3. You will laugh but when I saw the title of your post I thought oh no, you are shutting down your blog for the winter. Then when I read about your bulbs I was relieved! I still have some bulbs to get into the ground. Do the lava rocks work? I put in mesh and gravel, then dirt bulbs and more mesh to keep the voles and squirrel out. Lots of work for the bulbs but it is worth it! Can't wait to see photos of yours in the spring!

  4. I like your idea of adding the lava rock to discourage digging. I usually do not try to protect my daffodils since they are not favored by wildlife. However, almost every time I plant a new batch of them in the fall, the squirrels dig them up. Why? I am not sure. I end up sprinkling those spots with cayenne pepper which works. I might try the lava rock idea next year...

  5. I had the same reaction to the title thinking you were done blogging until does the lava rock work for you...voles are my biggest problem and I fear they would just burrow right past the lava rock...I am done with bulbs not because I couldn't buy more on sale and plant them but my body is done planting them. All the digging with the shovel has taken a toll on my shoulder...time for rest. Can't wait to see these lovely daffs....

  6. I too did not plant any tulips this year,(though my reason is not the squirrels) but added some more daffs as I do every year. They are such a welcome sight in spring time.

    I will try that lava rocks idea. I still have tons of bulbs to plant here. :)

  7. bulbs are one of gardening's greatest joys. i am working on getting a bunch of snow crocuses, galanthus and miniature daffodils in the ground. great idea, the lava rocks. i've also heard permatill is good. squirrels and voles are a big problem here.

  8. Great idea to put in the lava rock! I'm usually the one digging them up, in fall when I'm planting more!

  9. @Julie: I feel the same way about spring. If I could live here April through December (or maybe even January) and in Florida or California in February and March, I'd be happy.

    @Elaine: Winter always seems to drag--especially at the end. Congrats on getting all your bulbs in!

    @Karin: Hehe! Tricky, huh? I can't stop blogging--especially during the winter when I can't be out in the garden. :( I haven't tried mesh. The previous owners had lava rocks all over the place, and then this spring, I used some to keep critters away. They worked!

  10. @Sage: Yeah, I planted some bulbs in the spring and the chipmunks/squirrels kept digging them up. After I put lava rocks on top, they stopped!

    @Donna: No, I'm having too much fun blogging and chatting with gardeners like you! The lava rocks seem to work. I don't mind the digging--it's just a matter of finding the right spot without disturbing other plants. :)

    @Lily: I agree--I love the bright yellow of Daffodils in spring! They make my heart sing. Good luck with all your bulbs--I can't wait to see the results on your blog next spring!

  11. @Daricia: Permatill--I will have to look into that! I planted some Snowdrops from Carolyn's Shade Gardens in the spring--I can't wait to see them in April, too!

    @Holley: I haven't needed to thin my bulbs--the darn critters seem to do that for me! Have fun digging and planting!

  12. I love daffs and have a lot of them. They are the first sign of spring that I look for. They're such a cheerful flower. This year I'm planting a bunch of tulips in pots. That way I don't have to deal with their big strappy foliage smothering my other plants.

    The best dog in the world is just a ride to the shelter away!! All five of mine were shelter rescues. Look for rescue groups in your area and they can help pair you with a great dog. :o)

  13. Aw, April glory! I hate planting bulbs but so happy in spring to see their cheery faces. A job well done!

  14. Ha! I thought the same as Karin...glad you'll be with us through the winter! How nice knowing you'll have those lovelies in April!

  15. Yes, I can relate :) I had not heard of using lava rocks...interesting!

  16. Thanks for the reminder to start planting bulbs, one of my favorite acts of hope! You use the same technique as I do for bulb planting. Even the piece of tape measure looks the same :)

  17. Oh to see more daffs. We (not me) just planted 1500 daffodils on a residential property today. The guys were not too happy about that either after planting 30 trees.

  18. @TS: How interesting about the Tulips! I would have thought freeze/thaw issues would be a problem for bulbs in pots. Can't wait to see your display in spring. I'd love to have a dog, but we have cat "issues" right now. We'll see--maybe in spring/summer. :)

    @Joey: Yes, I agree--it's amazing to see all the bright colors from flowering bulbs in springtime! And I love a vase full of Daffodils!

    @Cat: Tee hee. Hopefully I'll be around. If so, I'll be blogging. :) It's keeping me sane--especially through the winter months.

  19. @NH: It's a new discovery for me, too, and it seems to work. I think I'll try lava rocks in my planting pots next spring, too.

    @Sheila: I used to use the round bulb planters, but they take forever and strain the arm/shoulder. Good luck with your bulbs!

    @Donna: 30 trees and 1500 Daffs--I can't even fathom it! I'm sure the homeowners will appreciate all the hard work when they see the beauty in springtime!

  20. I love planting bulbs, it feels like such an act of defiance to put these little wizened things in the cold damp late autumn soil and expect them to do anything. Hope you get a great show, and the lava rocks keep the diggers away!

  21. @Janet: Thanks! Yes, it's always a joy to see the bright flowers in the early spring. And I love a vase full of Daffodils!

  22. I am planting a bunch of Carlton bulbs this year, too. I like them with Ice Follies :-) Thankfully I won't have to wait quite as long as you to see the blooms, though. Late February, early March for us :-) I still have a few more to plant, though, but I've got a few more weeks of planting time left. Whew!

  23. @Toni: I am jealous! The time at the end of the winter is so hard for me. Although a trip to New Orleans in March should help me make it through. It will be fun to see your posts about Daffodils in the spring!


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