UC Gardening Blogs
Quiet, solitude and a connection with nature can be vital to one's peace of mind. Health care...
An angel (or fairy) sculpture creates a pleasant accent in this calming rock garden area. Debi Durham
Congratulations to UC Davis distinguished professor Walter Leal, the recipient of the Academic...
UC Davis distinguished professor Walter Leal is the recipient of the Academic Senate's three most coveted awards: research, teaching and public service awards. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
One of my favorite flowers is the Daffodil (Narcissus), they are part of the Amaryllidaceae family, grown from bulbs that go dormant in the winter months. Since the 1950's they have been a symbol of hope and resilience in the face of cancer. The National Holiday of “Daffodil Days” is celebrated every year, this year around March 22, 2024. During this time, the Solano County break room would be filled with daffodils that could be bought to place in small vases that you could place on your desk, brightening up a rather drab cubicle. I brought them home for years and finally when I retired in 2014, I planted my first bulbs in the backyard and they have continued to grow year after year, pictured below.
The bright flowers are early bloomers in the spring they aren't fussy about soil, will grow in sun or part shade. There are many flower styles, including trumpets, doubles, split-cups, large-cups and jonquils. They come in a variety of colors, white, pink, the most common yellow and orange. They have been associated with myths, magic, and folklore from bringing one good luck, fortune, and prosperity, to warding off evil spirits. William Wordsworth authored a particular moving poem about them in 1802, which I have included as it moved me :
Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, by William Wordsworth
I wandered lonely as a cloud.
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils.
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in a never-ending line.
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought.
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie.
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye.
Which is the bliss of solitude.
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
photo by Nancy Forrest
Back in October of 2020, we wrote about the newly published research of an international team of...
Tomato spotted wilt virus. (Photo courtesy of UC Davis distinguished professor Diane Ullman)
The Master Gardener Plant Exchanges have always felt like Christmas to me, long anticipated and highly enjoyed. Even before becoming an MG, I have looked forward to these bi-annual events with glee. Free plants! So far though, my only contributions have been succulent cuttings and volunteering at the events.
However, its now past-time for me to give back in the way of donating actual rooted plants. When the tree collard that MG Tina Saravia gave me became leggy, I took a few cuttings and unceremoniously stuck them in soil. I also pruned an English lavender 3 weeks ago, and those cuttings went in as well. Currently, everything appears to be growing happily.
Now pots have to be found, and fingers crossed that they continue to thrive and remain undiscovered by pests. The newbie in me did whisper “hopefully you haven't jinxed them by blogging”! Too late, lol. So excited for the next exchange, which will be on April 20 from 9 am until 12 noon. See you there! Cheers!
Tree collards. photo by Cindy Yee