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Re: Daffodil question

In a message dated 04/12/2004 1:07:50 AM Eastern Daylight Time, 
kmrsy@comcast.net writes:

> What do you mean by "modern" daffodils?  circa?

 Kitty, I can't lay hands on my copy of "Daffodils to Show and Grow" right 
now, but my feeling is that the distinct bicolors,  especially the small cups 
are 20th century hybrids while certainly the species and some of the plainer 
hybrids date back.  

> Park staff and volunteers may have planted the ones you've seen recently.
> They may have deliberately, carefully naturalized the bulbs, making an
> effort toward the least amount of disturbance so that the new plantings
> would not appear 'cultivated'.

I am sure that this mass of daffs were not planted by park staff or 
volunteers.  There is a small native plant garden at the Refuge Center tended by 
volunteers, but this site is at a very remote edge of the refuge.  The clumps we 
have seen several years near a parking overlook were probably planted by 
volunteers, but not this mass, I'm sure. Perhaps I should not have used the term 
"park." A Wildlife Refuge is not a park in the sense of a tended garden space - 
rather a natural space intended for wildlife.  The cultivated areas are devoted 
to grains like millet for food for the birds.

> You may have simply visited in the past at a time that these 'new' ones
> weren't in bloom.
> Miniature Trumpets - like 'Little Gem' and 'Little Spell' might look like
> small 'King Alfred's
I do grow miniatures, and these were not in that category of small - just not 
as big and vigorous as 'King Alfs.'

I think your information about species daffs spreading by reseeding is surely 
the answer.  Of course we carefully deadhead all the daffs in the garden so 
they won't go to seed, but  I used to garden at the Constitution Island 
preservation garden.  The garden committee didn't begin their work there in the 
spring until after the daffs had finished blooming, so they didn't get deadheaded.  
Those daffs had been there since Anna Warner's day - late 1800s - 1910 or so, 
and had not spread much.  In fact the head of the garden committee wanted to 
dig them out because she thought the maturing foliage was unsightly.  A few of 
us who were devoted to maintaining the original nature of the garden dug them 
from the main beds and planted them at the edge of the woods. They seemed to 
appreciate being moved and thinned, but since I stopped gardening there about 
20 years ago I don't really know how they progressed.

Thanks for the info.  Auralie

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