Daffodils Survive the Deer and Snow; Six on Saturday 4-14-18

a daffodil with a ruffled yellow corona and white perianth

As late as Wednesday, snow was falling as I raked out beds. Then, Thursday and Friday the temperatures topped 80°F. It’s going to get colder again, but the daffodils are undeterred. Since the deer don’t eat them, they are the most popular spring bulbs in this area.

the miniature narcissus Tete a tete is one of the first to flower
Narcissus Cyclamineus Tete a Tete

There are two reasons deer don’t like daffodils. First, they contain calcium oxalate crystals, which cause a burning sensation when ingested. Second, they contain an alkaloid called lycorine, which causes stomach upset in deer, and can be toxic in large quantities. (Source: Dr. Leonard Perry, Horticulture Professor University of Vermont, https://pss.uvm.edu/ppp/articles/bulbquestions.html)

Speaking of calcium oxalate, rhubarb leaves also contain this substance.

leaves of rhubarb begin pushing through the garden soil, their re stalks visible
Rhubarb emerges mid-April in the garden

The honey bees were busy as, well, you know… .

A honey bee climbs into the corona of a yellow daffodil
Honey bee busy harvesting Narcissus King Alfred

I once bought a giant bag of Narcissus bulbs for $30, and this pretty variety was included. Only problem with the bargain bags is that the bulbs are like mongrels, so I’m not sure if this one has a name.

a daffodil with a ruffled yellow corona and white perianth
An unnamed “Heirloom” daffodil

The rosettes of Lysimachia lanceolata var. purpurea form over the winter. The stalks will soon shoot up from these basal leaves.

A rosette of purple leaves forms over the winter, and this plant will send up stems from the rosette in the spring

Alchemilla mollis is also busy producing pretty leaves.

Alchemilla mollis leaves begin to emerge in April
Lady’s mantle is an important filler in our flower beds

Those are my six for this Saturday. See more from gardens around the world at The Propagator.

-Jo

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8 comments

  1. janesmudgeegarden says:

    You have beautiful clarity and depth in your photos, Jo. The narcissi might be ‘mongrels’ but they’re lovely, and cheerful.

    1. Thank you! I’ve been trying hard to get my photos right. 🙂

  2. Lora Hughes says:

    Yup, another vote for the mongrels. Doing well. Here, the fox like to dig out the daffs. Not sure if they eat them (altho they do eat other bulbs) or simply like to cause mischief.

    1. Foxy loxy 🙂

  3. Lovely picture of ‘tete a tete’ Narcissi…
    Unless you have a very dry weather, I hope you’ll post again on Alchemilla (with droplets .. it’s so beautiful!)

    1. Gladly! Yes, the leaves really hold the raindrops so well. Rain is expected, and snow (!) on Monday.

  4. Alchemilla mollis one of my favourite plants for adding green and collecting rain drops in a garden. I love the surprise when we are tempted by a bargain bag of bulbs – beautiful blooms.

    Angela – Garden Tea Cakes and Me

  5. Spring seems to have sprung for you finally! Yay! Just getting around to reading this now, sorry,it takes a while to get through them all these days! Squirrels are my main enemy for bulbs, planting them deep helps. Plenty of tulips to come in this week’s Six…

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