Daffodils

What Did The Bee Say To The Daffodil?… Hey Bud When Are You Open!!!

Another sure sign of spring is the Daffodil and the plants along my house have now grown about 2 inches above the soil.  Daffodils are a fall planted bulb that should be planted about 6 weeks prior to a hard frost.  Planting them in spring or anytime earlier to the hard frosts before winter will only invite fugal problems and diseases.  Other than that they are easy to grow and require little care other than to replant every few years once they become overcrowded as this will stop them from blooming.  They are members of the Amaryllis family and are also referred to as Narcissus.  They are a sign that winter is almost over and a bright cheery sign of warm weather to come.  They are symbols of rebirth, new beginnings, forgiveness, vitality, hope and joy.  To give a bouquet of them to someone you love symbolizes that they are the only one and are the flower given for a 10 year anniversary as a symbol of joy, cheer and happiness.  The mythological symbol for the god Narcissus the son of the river god Cephissus.  He was a very handsome god but belittled  those who loved him.  It is told that the mountain nymph named Echo saw him and fell in love with the handsome man but when he called to her she could only repeat his words.  When she approached him he rejected her and she spent the rest of her days wandering the forests till only her voice existed.   When Nimesis goddess of revenge learned Of Echo’s demise she led Narcissus to a stream where he saw his reflection and fell in love.  He was so smitten that he was unable to leave his reflection and eventually fell asleep and drowned.  Thus every spring the can be found along the banks of streams and rivers.  Many cultures revere the Daffodil, the Welsh believe those who fist see the Daffodil will have wealth for the next 12 months it is also their national flower.  The Chinese who first became acquainted with the Daffodil in the 10th century believe that if one blooms in your yard on New Years Day which this year was February 14th that you will have a year of good fortune.  However early Europeans believed that if the flower of the Daffodil drooped it was an omen of death and giving one bloom to someone it would bring misfortune except on the Isle of Scilly where to this day one is sent to Prince Charles in payment for land on the Isle that is left unattended.  It is the birth flower for the month of March.

The Narcissus or Daffodil is highly poisonous to small children and animals.  It has Calcium Oxalates in the leaves and roots and the bulbs contain Lycorine which is the most dangerous.  If ingested medical help most definitely be called.  Symptoms include a painfully sore throat, difficulty swallowing and a drool.  On the upside a drug called Galantamine is made from the plant and is used in medications to treat Alzheimers.  They are also toxic to other flowers in an arrangement and should be separated and recut then placed in water for 24 hours before being returned to the vase with other flowers.  Do not use a flower food with the water used in your arrangement as this will encourage the Daffodil to release its sap.  They should last about a week in a vase.  Although they are a ways away from blooming I can hardly wait!

Happy Gardening!

Samantha Nason
BS Ranch & Greenhouses
250 547 6567 • samanthanason@hotmail.com

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