Port Washington Garden Club

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This month in the garden...


"The best way to make sure you're removing a weed and not a valuable plant? If it comes out of the ground easily it's a valuable plant."



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This Month in the Garden (April 2009)

One of the first flowers to bloom each spring, daffodils are members of the Narcissus family. That name recalls the ancient Greek myth about a handsome youth who was so smitten by his own reflection he wasted away from unrequited love. On his death he was transformed into a daffodil by the gods. 

A native wildflower common to in the Mediterranean region, the Romans first popularized the daffodil, spreading it throughout their empire.  It was important medicinally since soldiers believed the plant’s irritating sap had healing powers. 

In the United States, daffodils were considered “must have” plants by early colonists.  Pioneers later carried the bulbs across the continent in covered wagons.  By the early 1900’s these original species bulbs were supplanted by hybrid forms.  The new daffodils had larger, taller flowers than the wild ones and included the famous ‘King Alfred.’

Today the American Daffodil Society recognizes 12 categories of daffodils and thousands of named cultivars.  The bulbs are classified by the size of their “trumpets,” their color combinations, and other characteristics such as producing multiple flowers on a single stem.

The first daffodils to bloom in Port Washington may well by those at the Niederkorn Public Library on Grand Avenue.  The southern exposure and building structure there create a microclimate that gets the bulbs off to a fast start.  It’s not unusual to see green daffodil leaves peeking out of the soil in the library gardens as soon as the snow melts away.

The Port Washington Garden Club has planted thousands of daffodil bulbs throughout the city at parks and public buildings, including those at the library.  They provide a cheerful burst of color at the beginning of spring when weather lakeside can still be cold and overcast.

This Month in the Garden Archive:

November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
June 2010

April 2010
March 2010
February 2010

January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009

March 2009


Port Washington Garden Club, PO Box 492, Port Washington, Wisconsin 53074
Registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization