Six on Saturday: Spring in Our ‘Novel’ Garden

When we first moved to this garden nearly 12 years ago, we were delighted to find daffodils blooming our first spring, in a lush mass across a bank in the front yard.  We watched in wonder as their buds opened, revealing their varied forms and colors. 

Our next door neighbors, an English couple, also love daffies and plant a fresh lot of bulbs each fall to add to their springtime display.  Daffodils are heirloom plants, blooming for many decades after they are planted.  They divide each summer and sometimes their seeds are spread around, allowing for natural hybrids and unpredictable spread. Their bright yellows, whites and golds light up our woodlands before the first buds of Forsythia or wild deerberries begin their bloom.

Read more and see more garden photos

Have you visited my new website, Our Forest Garden?

This is a continuation of A Forest Garden, with additional storage space for fresh photos. You’ll also find a library of directories that make it easy for you to find information published here over the past 7 years.

Directories to previous posts on the site include:

On Gardening

Trees and Shrubs

Ferns and Mosses

Green Thumb Tips

Choosing Native Plants

Good Garden Books


Caladiums and other Aroids


The new site is still a work in progress, and I hope you will visit and have a look at the new format. Please bookmark or follow Our Forest Garden to continue to receive notice of new posts as they are published.

-WG March 2021

About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

7 responses to “Six on Saturday: Spring in Our ‘Novel’ Garden

  1. Monica MacAdams

    I’m so envious! I’ve had terrible luck with daffs in my garden…”tete a tetes” have done best, as has one small clump of a late-blooming variety (no longer recall the name)…but the vast majority sprout leaves…but few if any blooms, so I’ve given up and am trying to dig them up (not easy either). Alas!

    • So sorry to hear that, Monica. Do they get good sun in the springtime? Daffies want the most sun they can get from when they emerge until their leaves begin to die back in May. Sometimes when grown in shade, or old clumps that get overcrowded, don’t bloom as well. So glad your Tete a Tetes are blooming well ❤ ❤ ❤

      • Monica MacAdams

        Thx for your reply, WG! My guess is that shade is the big problem, but I had to remove a giant ash tree a couple years ago (ash-borer-diseased), so I thought the daffs wd do better with the increased sunlight…but not. (Maybe the prob is old clumps becoming over-crowded as you suggest…never thought about that…maybe while not blooming well for years, for lack of adequate sun…but otherwise remaining healthy, they’ve been crowding each other underground?) If it were easier to dig-them-up, I might experiment…but at my advanced age, methinks it’s best to give up! Am I the only person you know whose late spring/summer garden is pretty nice… but a bust in early spring and late summer/fall?
        Your faithful fan,
        Monica (dufus gardener)

        • Hi Monica,

          Very, very sorry to hear about your Ash tree. Every new disease affecting our trees brings such loss.
          I had some old clumps in the back in the shade and I never found the energy to dig them. But I have been fertilizing them when I spread Milorganite to keep the deer away. Even though they are crowded, they started blooming a little bit. Remarkable! If you don’t want to tackle digging and dividing your clumps (or hiring someone to do it) you might just plant new bulbs in a sunny area where you will enjoy them. Early spring is a hard season to plant for, especially for those trying to discipline themselves to only native plants. Flowering trees/shrubs, Hellebores and various early spring blooming bulbs bring the most excitement. For my money, the flowering trees, like Redbud and Dogwood and daffodils give the most ‘bang’ for the buck! Stay well, Monica. Affectionately, WG

          • Monica MacAdams

            WG, Hate to keep bothering you! My best patch of hellebores looks AWFUL this spring (but right next to the front of the house from which I personally removed massive amounts of ivy last fall…and then had the house painted)…so maybe that’s the reason…roots might have been severely disrupted. My other hellebores plantings, to which I hadn’t paid much attention except to clip old leaves, are GORGEOUS this spring…like bridal-bouquet-worthy. Gardens are full of surprises (good and bad), aren’t they? I guess that’s why I find gardening so seductive even though I’m not as good at it as some people seem to think I am. Haha, that’s why I pester you!!!! Anyhow, I will try the Milorganite on the daffs…I have some left over from last year (I didn’t put it around the daffs, b/c deer don’t like daffs), but worth a try! Thx as always for your kind guidance. And I promise not to bother you again…for at least a couple weeks. Monica

            • Monica, gardeners will chat endlessly about gardening, won’t we? It is my favorite subject and can distract me from doing my anything that needs doing. I appreciate your comments. We have a patch of Hellebores at the Botanical Garden where I volunteer that are mighty scraggly and unproductive this year, too. And we didn’t paint a house over them or take away their ivy mulch. People give ivy a bag rap, but it is a groundcover to mulch the soil and hold in moisture, shelter so many insects for the birds, and look lovely. Maybe your Hellebores miss their companion planting. If you have enough, you might throw some Milorganite their way, too. Or spread a little fresh compost around them. Yes, gardens are full of surprises, good and bad, and teach us constantly when we slow down to pay attention. So glad you have some beautiful Hellebores to enjoy this spring. Do you ever cut them to bring some in ? A pretty bowl with a few floating on the surface certainly can be a mood brightener!

              • Monica MacAdams

                I just yelled out the door to the ocean of ivy I haven’t yet tackled: “WG likes you!”
                I ripped it off one section of the “slopes” on my property last year and had it covered with landscape fabric…thinking maybe I’d plant creeping “plum yew” (or whatever it’s called) this year…and ripped more off another slope (for lack of a better way to describe it, I live in a “ravine”), and began a planting of PA sedge…which I am determined to finish this spring. But you’ve inspired me (or given me an excuse?) to leave the rest of the ivy in place…and the ivy is happier already…also my lower-back and my check book.
                Now….if you cd only do your “plant whisperer” thing on the echinacea I planted late last summer (I took a big chance…given that I have limited sun and an aggressive irrigation system, the poor things might not be happy…but I yearn for a splash of late-season color).
                Haha….said I wouldn’t bother you again for a couple weeks…obviously, I’m a liar.
                Thx again for your kind indulgence.

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