Woodland Inspiration for Planting Daffodils

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The life of a gardener is spent with one foot in beds tending to what is currently growing and the other foot planning 2-3 seasons ahead. I think it is the anticipation or daydream of what we could be growing is what keeps us going as the gardens go to bed over the fall/winter season. My garden to do list is filled with cleanup tasks, but what has me excited is the collection of spring bulbs I am currently planting.

Natural woodland plantings of spring daffodils - more at thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

One of the spring bulbs we are planting at home and across client properties are daffodils. Along with many spring bulbs, daffodils are easy to tuck into your existing beds without disrupting existing perennials and easy to plant for any novice.

 

Spring Bulbs Inspiration from nature with daffodils, tulips and snowdrops - More on ThinkingOutsideTheBoxwood.com

This year, my daffodil inspiration is the unexpected places you see the flowers blooming during the spring. At home we have masses of daffodils tucked throughout our woodland in sporadic groupings incorporated around the trunks in clusters of multiple varieties.  These groupings are relics of a home burned down 20 years ago on our property and have naturalized over the years into this completely organic pattern.

 

Natural woodland plantings of spring daffodils - more at thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

The palate of whites, oranges and yellows allow you to mix many different varieties together without the flowers clashing, and depending on the combos, pull out the different features of each variety. The fallen leaves provide a great foil to the vivid green leaves, and help hide the foliage as it dies back later in the season.  The combo image below showcases all the different daffodils we have growing in our woodland, however, I am sure there are more we may have missed photographing. Our diverse varieties provide us with blooms through the entire spring season and making woodland walks exciting to see the evolution of the prominent color as the varieties alternate peak bloom.

 

Woodland Inspiration for Planting Daffodils, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

Earlier this spring we built a few bulb containers using our cluster woodland plantings as inspiration and I loved how reminded me of our home.

Spring Bulbs Inspiration from nature with daffodils, tulips and snowdrops - More on ThinkingOutsideTheBoxwood.com Spring Bulbs Inspiration from nature with daffodils, tulips and snowdrops - More on ThinkingOutsideTheBoxwood.com Spring Bulbs Inspiration from nature with daffodils, tulips and snowdrops - More on ThinkingOutsideTheBoxwood.com

 

Next spring we have 60 black gallon nursery pots pre-planted with bulbs for building more unique containers of the more unique varieties. All the varieties we have for next year are from Longfield Gardens, and here is a sampling of what we are working with. The plan is to have these winter over and then as the push in the spring transfer into containers. Wish us luck.

      Narcissus Baby Boomer

      Narcissus Delnashaugh

       Narcissus Jetfire

       Narcissus La Torch

       Narcissus Pink Pride

       Narcissus Barrett Browning

Greenhouse in the Spring

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Leading up to Memorial Day weekend is our busiest planting week across all clients and projects.  The weekend follows shortly after our frost-free date, which results in a buildup in the greenhouse followed by a mass clearing out by early June. The following photos show the progression of our greenhouse over the past few weeks leading up to this week and how quickly things change. I will follow up this post in early June to show the much altered state.

 

GREENHOUSE SPACE:

We order in about 5,000 perennials and 15,000 – 20,000 annuals plants for the start of the session for our own use, we are not a nursery that is open to the public. We start in February potting and organizing the greenhouse and continue for the remainder of the spring monitoring until the plants are loaded for client projects. We store these items between two greenhouses and one perennial pad. We also have dedicated space for larger shrubs and trees which is more real-time inventory system.  The photos below show our greenhouse spaces between April 20 – May 18.

 

IN THE GREENHOUSE, APRIL 20. 

This is the interior of our main greenhouse which houses are delicate perennials/succulent collection over the winter and our collection of annuals for the season. We use as much space as we can with overhead drip lines watering hanging annuals. It should be noted that we don’t use the hanging baskets as hanging baskets, rather we will take the entire 10″ basket and plant it in the ground for maximum impact.  By this date, we have been growing the annuals for 1.5 months. We plan that we will house the plants for 8-10 weeks from plug to install. Greenhouse in the Spring, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Greenhouse in the Spring, Thinking Outside the BoxwoodGreenhouse in the Spring, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

 

 

By this point we have moved our perennials out to the pad area.  This compact location gives us easy watering, access and ability to cover should we need during frost etc while freeing up greenhouse space for the more delicate plants.

Greenhouse in the Spring, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Greenhouse in the Spring, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

We have a second greenhouse that we use primarily to house more delicate perennials.

Greenhouse in the Spring, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

IN THE GREENHOUSE APRIL 27. 

We have reached our 2 month mark for annuals and we had a fairly mild spring with warm days and a few cold snaps. You can tell the

 

Greenhouse in the Spring, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

 

I love the graphic patterns in the placement of the plants on the tables. Greenhouse in the Spring, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Below you can see how the drip lines are feeding our hanging annuals. These plants will be going into the ground, not continue as hanging baskets. This method provides us with larger plants at installation compared to a traditional flat size.

Greenhouse in the Spring, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

You can see the growth on the perennial pads and the additional of a few more plants from the perennial greenhouse.

 

Greenhouse in the Spring, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Greenhouse in the Spring, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

 

This is a look at the perennial greenhouse looking from the other direction. We use use rice haul (the light brown surrounding a few of the plants) on a few of the perennials to keep the weeds down to a minimum.

Greenhouse in the Spring, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

 

IN THE GREENHOUSE MAY 18. 

By this point we had just started planting our annuals in the ground and the organization of the greenhouse gets distributed by the constant pulling for projects. The annuals in the hanging baskets are much bigger than back on April 27 and will make instant impact when planted in ground compared to traditional flats.  I took fewer photos this week, mainly because it started getting chaotic.

Greenhouse in the Spring, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

Here are a client’s window baskets planted and ready to load for install. We use the end of the greenhouse for easy staging, potting and loading.

Greenhouse in the Spring, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

By this point the center isle of the perennial greenhouse is getting tighter and tighter.

Greenhouse in the Spring, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

In Bloom – May 4, 2016

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I start each spring watching and anticipating each new bloom, watching the succession of daffodils and hellebore blooming to the burst of the foliage on trees. Now that I am surrounded by blooms and fresh greens, taking the time to walk the gardens each week and cutting blooms allows me to pause and appreciate the ever evolving selection.

 

Right now we still have a few daffodils and hellebore hanging on, the allium are just starting to open and the peony heads are ballooning larger each day. One of the hellebore plants is now completely covered over by a hosta, so I clipped as many blooms I could to make the focal point of the arrangement. Everything else is a collection of items bloom in the gardens and on the perennial pads waiting to be planted in a client’s garden.  I wish I could include the roses, they were absolutely beautiful. Maybe next week.

Thinking Outside the Boxwood - What is in Bloom this week, May 4, 2016

 

You can tell from my collection below, I don’t focus on editing. I try to get as many different varieties gathered together, much like I cut  blooms within a specific perennial border to bring inside. My arrangement below includes seven different plants.

Thinking Outside the Boxwood - What is in Bloom this week, May 4, 2016

 

The blooms collected this week are listed below and included in the image below for quick reference. If you have any questions about a specific plant, let me know. Our gardens are in a zone 6a for reference.

  • Camassia leichtinni ssp. suksdorfii ‘Blue Danube’- Blue Danube camass
  • Aquilegia vulgaris ‘Black Barlow’ – Granny’s Bonnet Columbine
  • Penstemon ‘Dark Towers’ – beardtounge
  • Narcissus poeticus var. recurvus – Old Pheasant’s Eye daffodil
  • Salvia longispicata x farinacea ‘Playin the Blues’ – Playin’ theBlues Sage
  • Polygonatum odoratum var. pluiflorum ‘Variegatum’ -Variegated Solomon’s seal
  • Helleborus “Royal Heritage’ – Lenten Rose

Thinking Outside the Boxwood - What is in Bloom this week, May 4, 2016