| No-maintenance Fall Planting for Years of Increasing Garden Beauty! |
Bulbs are the fall gardener's best friends, taking just moments to plant and needing no attention until their blooms appear in spring or summer. Many magnificent types of bulbs are available for fall planting, none easier nor more economical than daffodils (Narcissus) and magic lilies (Lycoris). These wonderful plants delight gardeners by spreading over time, so that the handful of bulbs planted this fall may become a large drift of color.
Daffodils are very hardy, thriving across the continental United States, though some varieties are short-lived in the semi-tropical climates (USDA hardiness zones 9b, 10, and 11) of the Deep South. This bulb is so adaptable, tolerating a bit of shade and requiring absolutely no care once it is planted in well-drained garden soil. In fact, neglect is essential: after the daffodils bloom in early spring, their leaves take several weeks to "die back" (turn brown and fall over), and they must be left alone during this time, as the plant is storing nutrients for next year's blooms. Clever gardeners hide the foliage by planting daylilies among the daffodils; just as the daffs begin to pass, the daylilies leaf out fresh and green.
The evidence of daffodils’ longevity is to be found in old homesites and along roadsides, where little stands of sweet-scented white and yellow blooms dot the landscape decades after their ancestors were planted.
Daffodil bulbs are being harvested from the Dutch growing fields right now, and are available to order from reputable mail-order nurseries such as Park Seed. Gardeners looking to create legacy plantings may want to consider economical mixes specially designed for longevity, such as Park's Naturalizing Mix. And for those fond of plants with names and histories, there are heirlooms such as Daffodil Mount Hood (introduced in 1937 and still a favorite) and the species daffodil called Pheasant's Eye, which pre-dates Queen Victoria and is beloved both for its unusual flower form and for its tolerance of wet winter soils.
While daffodils greet spring in the garden, magic lilies (and their cousins, the spider lilies) arise in fall, often long after the gardener has forgotten having planted them. Magic Lily (Lycoris squamigera) is particularly crafty, its foliage appearing in spring and then dying back without sporting a single flower. Months later, often after a rainfall, a tall stem will suddenly shoot up, setting a large cluster of pink blooms that lasts for weeks. No wonder the common names for this lily include Surprise and Resurrection!
Quickly following the magic lily are the spider lilies, which don't reveal themselves at all until fall. Then long, strappy foliage and tall bloomstalks appear, topped with rounded balls of slender, elegant flowers. Magic lilies are hardy everywhere above zone 5, while spider lilies return in the warmer climates of zones 7-10.
Creating a maintenance-free legacy garden with bright blooms in spring and fall is easy with a little planning! Reserve daffodil and lily bulbs now, and they will arrive at just the right planting time this fall.
For more information on growing a maintenance-free legacy garden, contact us directly by calling our public relations department at 1-864-941-4521.