Saturday, April 5, 2008

Primitive Daffodil Mystery

Old abandoned farms and fence rows are wondrous places. Each spring and summer they bring forth echoes of those country gardeners who came before us. Many of my antique roses were discovered on the side of the road in hidden nooks and crannies of our Central Kentucky counties; long abandoned, but still true to their original planting form. On some occasions, the discovery leans toward a mutated or primitive version of what was planted years ago. I have such an example that we dug up about ten years ago, along a back road fence row in Bourbon County. Upon first sight, these daffodil like plants in no way resembled the current popular form. They had the correct stalks and shoots from the ground, but the blooms resembled a regurgitated green mass of twisted petals. They appeared to be the green rose equivalent of the daffodil world. Despite their very unattractive appearance, we dug them up and brought them home to our garden. The bulbs were very deep, and not easy to extract, but once we let them grow for a few years in their new home, they morphed back a little into yellow regurgitations with twisted petals. Over the next ten years, we moved them, divided them to create more clumps, and in perfect harmony, each batch has transformed into the following form:

This was their first appearance in early March just as the snow was melting. (see previous post for exact date)

The next two photos demonstrate the bud formation just as they are beginning to open...note the strong green appearnce.

This looks like a very angry bud to me.

The curling green around this bud is a wild onion...evidence of my needing to weed. And yes, growing right alongside our Easter Bonnets with no crossing effects.

And so you have it, our mysterious primitive daffodils in all their glory. This photo shows clearly the early stage as resembling something from Little Shop of Horrors, complete with teeth, while the more mature blossom is an explosion of petals, with much of the green faded away. If any of you have similar garden inhabitants, please share. Or if this resembles a variety you are familiar with, that would also be interesting. I'm sure some of you may also be able to fill me in on the parentage of current varieties that might help solve this little mystery. However, keep in mind, this little beauty is from a very old abandoned farm.

And on a side note: I apologize for having been such a lax blogger these days. My semester is over in about three weeks so I will be a much better blogger in May! I greatly appreciate all of your comments, but am way behind on responding to many of them. And welcome to all of the new bloggers I noticed as I take a small break to check in with my's springtime in blotanical as the new arrivals burst forth!! Sure wish I had more time to read them...Hoping May comes quickly!

Happy spring gardening! It's finally here!