Spring Joy in a Daffodil’s Nod

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Daffodils down the lane: a nice welcome home.

Spring seemed to takes its own sweet time this year; arriving late, leaving early, hopscotching around the Pacific Northwest in quick visits tied to its own whims. I’ve made peace with winter, now that spring has unpacked and decided to stay. God bless the daffodil, the sunny little recruit trumpeting warmer days are ahead. It’s hope in flower form.

The original stand of wild daffodils (Narcissus pseudonarcissus) that I’ve come to split and spread around the farm. The more light provided, the more blooms realized.

After living in my house for close to fifteen years, and planting and splitting bulbs each fall, I’ve come to expect an eruption of garden surprises each spring. Much like an absent-minded squirrel, I usually forget where I bury the flower bulbs, but then spring steps in to joyfully remind me.

This year I’ll plant more bulbs on my circle drive’s island.

If you’ve had trouble growing flower bulbs in the past, consider the daffodil and related narcissus cousins. These bulbs are easily grown without much fuss or care, or interest from deer or voles. Daffodils naturalize beautifully, that is once you plant them, the bulbs multiply and establish flowering colonies requiring little care. In fact, I plant bulbs in my lawn to add interest to swaths of green. The only real secret is you have to let the leaves die back to the ground to recharge the bulb and blooms for next season.

VIDEO: How I Plant Bulbs Using a Drill and Auger

Early Spring Garden Tour

One of my garden paths, lined with Leucojum and emerging bluebells.
About three miles north of my farm on the east side of the island near Dilworth Point, this spectacular view screamed “spring” to me as I headed down the lane to visit my artist friend Pam Ingalls at her enviable perch of a studio. Cloud cover usually conceals her majesty.
Buddy’s look: “Dude, this rope toy isn’t going to pull itself?
See you next year cheerful harbingers of spring!

24 COMMENTS

  1. Beautiful, Tom. I just love that winding daffodil lane up to your house. And the view of Rainier from your friend’s studio is just spectacular! Love the remark from Buddy!

    • Thanks Sandra, and the funny thing is every time I’ve been over to Pam’s studio, it’s been cloudy or raining, so I had no idea what I was missing until this sunny clear day exposed it.

  2. Yes, beautiful! I love your way with words and how you paint pictures in our minds with each sentence. Makes my heart sing. Hi to Buddy, bet he is happy Spring has sprung.

    • Thanks Lynn, and yes, Buddy is one happy dog, because the porches are all his. He follows the sun when we have it. Right now he’s in the car on this rainy day. He didn’t want to get out, so I left him and just check on him every 20 minutes to see if he’s changed his mind. πŸ˜‰

  3. Wonderful to see Spring at Tall Clover Farm, Tom. Thank you for your sunny outlook and the inspiration you send our way. It’s always like an oasis of hope. Cheers!

    • Thank you Pam, I needed a little hope this winter and spring, so I thought I’d start simply but powerfully with the beauty of nature. Take care, Tom

    • Thank you Mary, And of course like everyone, I’ll have bad or off days, but that’s when I make sure to stay away from my laptop and social media. πŸ˜‰ This rule has served me well. Cheers Mary, and thanks again!

  4. Thank you Tom, for this website and for all you do to help make Vashon the wonderful place that it is. You and Buddy are gifts to us that seem to keep on giving!

  5. Hello Tom,
    Loved this post! What a great idea for planting bulbs!
    Can you give me some specifics on the auger bit? The brand, length and diameter?
    I found one on Amazon that looks similar to yours:
    Power Planter 100% USA Made 3″x24″ Extended Length Bulb & Bedding Plant Auger w/ 3/8″ Hex Drive

    Thanks for sharing….seems like I always learn something from your blog!
    I’m moving to a new home (farmhouse style) in July (from California to Texas) and I can’t wait to start my garden!
    ~Nancy

    • Hi Nancy, I checked out the one you are looking at on Amazon and it looks like a good match to the one I’m using. I don’t recall who made mine, nor is it shown on the auger itself, sorry. Be careful when using it. Let the drill do the work, and should it hit a rock it tends to kick back, so be careful it doesn’t twist your wrist. Just a precautionary measure. Good luck with your new home and garden in Texas!

      • Thank you, Tom for checking that out for me on Amazon and for your words of advice and well-wishes. I’ll be sure to watch out for those pesky rocks! πŸ™‚

  6. Thank you Tom for your lovely visuals & descriptive words. I so look forward to your posts whenever they pop up in my email – I know I am in for a treat !

  7. Lovely post- “hope in flower form” indeed! I also forget where I’ve planted bulbs come fall. How do you mark them to remember where to dig and divide come fall? It seems mine aren’t spreading much, so maybe they need some help. Happy spring to you and Buddy!

    • Perri, I move them now, or rather once the bloom dies. I dig up the bulbs in clumps and separate them while still keeping all of the foliage and roots attached. Then I dig a hole where I want them and plants them there and water to settle them in. They’ll die back, rest all summer, fall, winter and then surprise you next spring with blossoms. Check out my video in the this post, it gives you a good look at what the transplanted bulbs look like. Take care, and thanks for the well wishes.

  8. Tom!!

    You just resolved my own challenge on how to spread wildflowers in my growing grass around the homestead!! I now have on order some auger action from Amazon, 30” long to see if it helps the ol’back action or is too crazy. Do you have thoughts on this before I pull THIS trigger?? Will settle back to 18” or 24” if you have experimented with length…

    • Hi Sarah, I’d stick to an 18″ or 24″ as torque is a bit of a problem and its hard to control the drill with a 30″ auger. I’ll be happy to show you mine at work if you’re ever headed this way.

  9. Your words are like glimpses into gorgeous little time capsules of Spring. I too find the greatest solice and hope in nature. The beauty of your photographs makes me want to visit your island. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Hi Tammy, thanks for the kind and generous words, such a lovely way to start my day. Yes, you should visit Vashon, it’s a lovely getaway, with little to do here but let the scenery sink in and slow down. Cheers!

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