Daffodils


Do you ever look out at your garden and wish you had a fairy godmother (or at least her magic wand) to whisk away your planting pains? Espoma isn’t magic, but its products have an astounding effectiveness which is as close to bibbity-bobbity-boo as we’ve ever experienced. They’re a trusted name for a reason and now it’s time to see why.

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In a world buzzing with constant clamor, movement and colors sometimes the best reprieve is silence, stillness, and nothingness. White flowers symbolize peace, fidelity, innocence, honesty and perfection. They deserve a place in our gardens beyond formal events like weddings and funerals. White is not a canvas to be filled, but an absence that makes the heart grow fonder.

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An orange-inspired garden design with purple accents.

Click here to see the Pinterest board of the best orange varieties!

We’ve all got our favorite color, that one that just seems to “pop” for us more than all the others. For me, that color is orange; nothing seems quite so vibrant as a bright orange bloom on a sunny day. Whenever I come across a particularly beautiful orange specimen, I just think about how good it would look in a whole orange arrangement. That’s why I put together this garden design to serve as a planner for myself and the other orange-aholics out there.

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Narcissus poeticus is a very rare, beautiful heirloom Narcissus
In Greek mythology, Narcissus was a young man of unparalleled beauty who was so entranced by his own reflection in a pond that he wasted away gazing lovingly on his own form.  Where he sat on the shore, a flower of similar beauty, the Narcissus, grew, leaning lightly, as if to gaze into the water.

I always find the stories behind plant names interesting.  Many of them have been lost to time, of course, but that only makes those that we do know more interesting.  Then, there are those about which we speculate, but cannot be certain.  "Daffodil", for instance, is thought to come from the Asphodel flower, a plant that was commonly planted near graves in Ancient Greece.  The Asphodel Meadows, one section of the Underworld in Greek mythology, was thought to be an endless plain of these flowers.  This was the section where the dead who had led unremarkable lives spent Eternity.  The "D" in "Daffodil" most likely came from the Dutch article "de," which would have been placed before the name ("De Asphodel," more commonly pronounced "De Affodil"). 

Caravaggio's Narcissus
The term Jonquil, which is still sometimes used for all Narcissus (especially in the Southeastern US), is somewhat more straightforeward.  It comes from the Spanish diminuitive form of junco, a type of reed.  In the strictest sense, the term Jonquil refers only to types of Narcissus related to the species Narcissus jonquilla, which has reed- or rush-like leaves (hence the name).  The use of this name to generally refer to Narcissus is mostly fading away, and it is technically incorrect, but I am loath to try to correct a common name, especially one that is as much fun to say as is Jonquil.

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WisteriaHere at Wayside Gardens, we always appreciate being mentioned by newspapers.  I especially enjoyed this article in the San Francisco Chronicle, because it recommended us as a source for trumpet vines.  I'm a great lover of flowering vines, so that put a big smile on my face.  I suspect that my love for flowering vines comes from growing up looking forward each year to the Wisteria blooming all over town.  Every spring pine groves all over town explode into purple, and the purple flowers hang thick on almost every tree up and down the older streets.  They stick around for much of the summer, but here Wisteria and Daffodils mean spring has arrived, and all the flowers of the season will be following soon behind.

As I've grown older, though, I've grown to love all sorts of flowering vines.  The hummingbirds love my trumpet vine (a Campsis 'Mme. Galen') that's happily climbing a sunny wall at my mother's house, and I've been lovingly tending some pink rose vines on an arching lattice for years now.  Over the years I've had several Clematis vines (it's almost an addiction, Clematis_bourbon_3with so much variety of both color and shape), but I think that my current favorite is my Clematis Bourbon.  My sister loves to steal my flowers and float them in a crystal bowl of water as a centerpiece.  Fortunately, it produces so many flowers throughout the summer that I don’t mind.  Even after years of propagating flowering vines, though, I still get a thrill each year when I first spot those wonderful amethyst Wisteria vines for the first time, and it's still my favorite vine by far.

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