Flowers After Daffodils:
Summer and Fall
All bulbs need to restore their strength after blooming - and they do not need human help during this time. The only thing they ask for is to be left alone: do not tide their beds, ignore the shriveling foliage, and let them wilt in peace. That's how bulbs restore their strength. In fact, we have already provided them all the assistance they need - we picked their flowers. When flowers are removed, the plant no longer spends energy on the most important task - developing seeds for propagation, and moves on to the next one - feeding the mothership (sorry, the mother bulb). It may even be able to produce a small bulb! This newcomer, invisible to all for the time being, will grow during the summer, rest in winter, send the green leaves out in the spring, and repeat the cycle several times until it is finally strong enough to bloom. Imagine the same process for all 100+ bulbs on the bed... If you're imagining a sea of flowers, you're on the right track - but don't forget a hefty shovel, the best tool to handle digging out and diving the bulbs. Daffodils should be divided every 3-4 years, so we still have some time.
This year at the end of picking season, we liberally sowed deer-resistant flower seeds on the soil between the daffodil plants. They actively germinated while protected from the rain, birds, and weeds by daffodil foliage. When the daffodil leaves dried up and wilted away, we had poppies, chamomiles, borage, black-eyed susans, echinacea, cleomes, and coreopsis, just to name a few. Even kale sneaks its way in!
All the summer tenants were selected with pollinators in mind - more on this later. With occasional weeding to remove the spent plants (some disappeared on their own, though I hope they reseeded themselves during their farewell bow), they provided us a very pleasant view all season long. I have to say some of the seasonal views were magnificent - such as the summer poppies and fall marigolds. I hope next year we will be able to invite guests to our farm for picture taking. In late August, when there was more space on the beds and the late summer weeds were still plotting their next attack, we planted daikon. It will grow beautifully, die in the winter, and produce a ton of green compost mass and protect the soil from erosion. The last part they are happily handling already - the beds are densely covered, enough for some delectable fresh salad - recipe to follow!
Poppies by the solar panels looked stunning and were buzzing with bees and butterflies
They were replaced by cosmos for early fall view
Marigolds and black eyed susans keep watch in the fall