Letter: In defense of daffodils

Posted 6/13/24

Every garden bed should have some, especially a prominent one that greets visitors and residents coming and going.

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Letter: In defense of daffodils


To the editor:

I reference last week’s article about the removal of the daffodils at the Veterans Home. I think many would agree that daffodils are the undisputed heralds of spring. What a delight it was, and will be with every future April, to see the golden trumpets nodding and winking beside the stone walls along Hope Street, and surprising us here and there at every turn in Bristol. A big thank you to the heroic efforts of the Bristol Garden Club.

I will admit that while it may not be so problematic to have “A crowd of 10,000 daffodils beside a lake, under the trees, fluttering and dancing in the breeze,” as Wordsworth marveled, it can certainly be difficult to incorporate daffodils into a contained garden bed, as the foliage must remain uncut for 6 weeks, allowing the bulb to take in and store the nutrients needed for its survival and for next years gorgeous blooms. Those leaves that are successfully hidden by the emerging perennial foliage can be left to degrade naturally, adding nutrients back into to the soil. Cycle of life and all that.

Agreed that they look messy and unkempt. Best to plant them in such a way that the foliage will quickly be hidden behind emerging perennials.

In the garden at the Vets Home, the choice of iris and day lilies as companion plantings was excellent , as their emerging greenery will quickly hide the dying daffodil foliage. Perennial beds become fuller and more established-looking over time as they mature. Patience is required. It is shortsighted and unfortunate that this garden was not allowed to remain and develop to its full potential, as daffodils are emblematic of the joys of early spring, and the awakening of the wonders of the new growing season.

Every garden bed should have some, especially a prominent one that greets visitors and residents coming and going.

Jean Sharac
Richmond Street

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