What I Miss About Ireland – Daffodils

Yellow daffodilPhoto Credit

Daffodils! Why daffodils today? It’s fall, not spring.

I realize I am a little out of season talking about daffodils, but if you are planning to have a “host of golden daffodils” next spring, now is the time to plant.

 Wild Daffodils IrelandPhoto Credit

I love daffodils. They remind me of Ireland. There they flourish, turning up in unusual, wild places, not just in artificially, created gardens.

Daffodils grow and adorn American gardens too, but seldom in the same numbers seen in Ireland. In more Northern American states, winter is just too cold for these bulbs.  Parts of Florida are too warm. Frost free living does not agree with daffodil bulbs.

 

daffodilsPhoto Credit

Ireland’s climate is just perfect for nurturing these golden warriors of spring. In March one year, I remember being greeted by a long row of daffodils in the road divide, as we drove to my parents’ house from Dublin Airport. I paused to say a little prayer – “Thank you, Ireland, for a lovely spring welcome.”

Every autumn my Mom made a point of planting crocuses and daffodils with us. Here is a photo, where I am in the middle of helping in the garden.

We moved to Dallas, Texas in September 2000, buying a house without delay. I sometimes wondered if we had made the right decision. When spring time came around, I knew I was where I needed to be.

Daffodils poking through the earthPhoto Credit

Upon seeing a spiky, green leaf, poking through the earth, my heart stopped. I couldn’t believe my eyes. My garden soon was a sea of beautiful daffodils. The previous owners had planted bulbs by the dozen.

And so this week I have decided to convert my Kentucky garden into a springtime wonderland (at least I am going to try anyway.). I figure the climate here should be just right for daffodils – mild fall, frosty winter, and a glorious spring.

Daffodils and shovel

I may be Irish, but I am afraid I didn’t inherit my mother’s green thumb. Perhaps, one can be cultivated, so in Backyard Tales I will recount my gardening efforts this year. I consulted the Gardening with Kids website for daffodil planting instructions. A quick refresher course was definitely in order, my mother’s childhood lessons fading away with the passing years.

Digging soil

First I loosened the soil.  That was back breaking work.  Kentucky soil is far harder than I ever remembered Irish earth, or else I am just out of practice and out of shape.  Let’s blame the Kentucky soil, not my weak leg.

compost for daffodils

I added compost and mixed it through.

bulbs in groung

Then I dug little holes and set my bulbs in, pointy end up.

 soil over daffodil bulbs

Then I re-covered them with soil and said a little prayer.  Hopefully I will remember to water my precious bulbs. Maybe every time I sit before my computer to check my blog, I will feel a twinge of guilt if I have forgotten to give them a drop of water.

 Autumn scarecrows

I planned to take a photo standing by my flower bed, after all my planting was done.  I was so puffed and red-faced after my efforts, I decided I had better let our two scarecrows be the models.  “Tasha” and “Jack” are watching our daffodil bulbs carefully, or so my kids informed me.   My little girl christened them.

So let’s all keep our fingers crossed for my daffodils. I will share results photos once spring arrives. Please don’t expect a Wordsworthian, worthy host. I will be quite happy with one or two flowers, to serenade me with yellow trumpets.

So if you are a daffodil lover, like me, it’s time to get planting.

As inspiration to get gardening, I will leave you with Wordsworth’s ever so famous lines:

“I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils.”

Happy Gardening!!!

 

Slan agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)

 

Irish American Mom

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Spring time in Britain is so great to witness… after the cold and grey winter, to see those little spring time flowers popping up all over the place is delightful. I’m originally from Norfolk, UK, and I spent this spring in England, and watched the daffodils, crocuses and snow drops peep through the snow to announce the start of a cycle of growth. Thanks for instructions on planting your flowers … I’ve added your post to my new Expat Blog Carnival … which has a theme of flora and fauna this month.

    Congrats on your Best Blog award for 2012….

    thanks, Jay

    • Dear Jay – So glad you got to spend some time in England this spring, and to witness the first blooms of the season. Thanks so much for including my post on your Expat Blog Carnival.
      Best wishes,
      Mairéad

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