Thursday, April 2, 2009


Narcissus 'Ghost Dance' from Mitch Novelty Daffodils

Narcissus 'Icelandic Pink' from Mitch Novelty Daffodils

I was recently putting together an illustrated lecture called "Low Budget Perennials & Annuals for the Home Landscape", and I was reminded of the virtue of methodically building up stock in a plant that does well, such as by frequently dividing it, allowing it to spread on its own, or propagating it by seed. It is a practice that is not only a cost saving measure, but an important technique in developing a satisfying garden. While there are plenty of people who have the means and the drive to install a virtually finished garden, I think the gardeners who love the process of gardening are more patient than that. The garden evolves over time as the gardener reacts to successes and failures while patiently accumulating stock for bold initiatives that would be too costly (or rash) to acquire by other means.

Pictured above are a couple of scanned slides of daffodils I bought from Mitsch Nursery, a specialty daffodil grower and breeder. For some reason I am fascinated with the rarer (and more expensive) daffodils which I buy in small quantities, line out in a little daffodil nursery, and divide in a few years when I have enough to make an impression. I also find out how well the plants are going to do before I make a commitment to use them in the garden.

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