When I was a beginner in gardening, I often thought that during the winter months, there’ll be less watering, weeding, caring and planting because most plants, especially flowers cannot tolerate winter’s freezing temperatures. However, you’ll be surprised to know that spring-flowering plants like snowdrops and daffodils can thrive under the cool temperatures that come with winter.
Daffodils, often recognized by their agricultural name, narcissus, are simple and also the most popular spring-flowering bulbs. The yellow-colored daffodil has been welcoming spring for generations, however, the flowers can also come in white, orange, pink and cream. When it comes to the flower styles, there are trumpets, doubles, miniatures, split-cups, large-cups and also jonquillas.
These easy and reliable spring-flowering bulbs can develop roots in the fall and then bloom in late winter or early spring. They multiply quickly and also return to bloom once again each springtime. Usually, they are not fussy about dirt and they can be grown in the sun or in the shade.
It is important to note that daffodils can produce a variety of alkaloids, which provide some kind of protection to the plant but which can also be very poisonous if accidentally ingested. In the past, this plant was exploited by medical experts for its use in traditional healing and it resulted in the production of substances used for the treatment of diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Long celebrated in both literature and art, daffodils have been linked with a number of themes from different cultures, ranging from good fortune and hope to death and dark times. But, I guess, at one point, we’ve all heard how daffodils symbolize friendship and new beginnings.
Simple Tips for Planting, Growing and Caring for Daffodils:
- Try to choose the largest and the highest-quality flower bulbs.
- Start planting the flower bulbs 2-4 weeks before the ground freezes.
- Choose a location that offers full or partial sun.
- Daffodils prefer fertile and well-drained soil.
- Depending on the daffodil variety, some prefer neutral to acidic soils while others prefer slightly alkaline ones.
- It is sometimes recommended to sprinkle some bulb fertilizer in the hole before and during planting.
To learn more about growing daffodils, click here!
Personally, I just love winterberries, especially when they are half covered by snow. I know it’s a very tough plant that can thrive in different climates and soil types. When other plants would die in harsh freezing winter, winterberries would still survive and serve as a food source for many birds. While wild animals can feed on these berries, winterberry is known to be toxic to humans (studies claimed that children are especially sensitive to the toxicity of this plant).
Native to eastern North America, this rare deciduous shrub is often found bordering swamps and wetlands. During the winter season, you’ll also find this shrub in many gardens where they are planted for its beautiful ripe red berries.
Celtic legend says that during the darkest times of history, there were two brothers, the Oak King and the Holly King. While the Oak King reigned during the summer season, the Holly King used to wear the fresh leaves and berries of the winterberry on his head and reigned during the winter season.
Simple Tips for Planting, Growing and Caring for Winterberry:
- This shrub should always be planted in acidic, moist soil on a site that offers partial sun.
- When it comes to caring, this shrub doesn’t really require pruning, but if you have spreading bushes in your garden, you may need to trim them into shape.
- Winterberry grows best in fairly wet conditions.
- The plant usually has a good tolerance for all temperature conditions, but remember that it doesn’t particularly like prolonged dryness.
- If the soil is too alkaline or neutral, you may then use a fertilizer.