Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mystery in the Garden

Transplanted in the garden for the third year now, these mystery perennials are now established. They seem to be daffodils in every way—from bulbs to foliage to their timing—yet the buds never open. The 'air buds' grow with absolutely nothing inside of them. You can see through the thin green membranes when the sun is behind them, revealing no baby blooms growing inside. 

G A R D E N I N G — There's an area of the yard that is going back to nature. It doesn't seem to have been incorporated into the mowed area since the 1950s at the latest. It runs alongside the train tracks and is heavily wooded now. There are hundreds of Jack-in-the-Pulpits in the spring, and clumps of naturalized day lilies that send up great foliage. They never bloom once the full 'forest canopy' appears in June cutting off their sun when they need it to send up buds. This area also has a large clump of daffodils—which don't bloom either—but I think for a completely different reason than the day lilies lack of blooms.

I found a group of these seemingly normal daffodils 3 years ago. The naturalized area of foliage is about 6 feet by 6 feet to this day, much like we had at the Leete's Island home in areas of the yard. Everything about them seemed to be normal for daffodils, so naturally, me being me, I transplanted a good dozen of them three years ago into a new perennial garden I was putting in. Having never seem them bloom in their original location, I was more than anxious to see which variety they would reveal themselves to be.

The first year in the transplanted garden, lots of foliage no buds. I didn't think to check the original clump, but without much sun, I'd never seen them bloom. The second year, again, lots of foliage but lots of buds this time—all which amounted to nothing. No blooms ever opened, the buds just hung out on the stems for a couple of weeks and then deteriorated before they opened. Cutting open a few of these 'buds' revealed no baby flowers inside. I checked the original clump and they all had the same 'airbuds.' 

This is the third year in their news space. Again, healthy foliage, several dozen buds, no emerging flowers. I really think I've found an archaic form of daffodil bulbs, perhaps never having developed the showy flowers of today's daffies. I'm going to do some research and see if I can find out exactly what the mystery growing in my garden really is!

"Airbuds" showing up right on time on my mystery perennials. Daffy daffies or forgotten earlier form?

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