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If you read my post about my summer from hell and how the garden got me back in the game of life, this is sort of a follow up. Today would have been my friend Susie Steiner’s birthday.

Those bulbs co-blogger Chris made me buy and plant — well, I bought some called Susie.  I needed to do something after she passed.  Since I didn’t live in her hometown and couldn’t go to the private funeral. I needed some way to create closure. I learned through this process that funerals are not for the dead, they are for the living.  They are for the support from others. They are a way to come to grips of a new realty without someone.  I always thought I wouldn’t have a funeral.  I didn’t want the attention. But now I see the real purpose…

Anyway, when a funeral is not an option for whatever reason, you need a way to accept, remember and move on.


I chose a daffodil.  They are one of my favorite plants.  They are special because they don’t grow just anyway…they don’t grow in California as I have noted before.  <Strike another win for NC.> To me they SCREAM spring, life and hope.


This daffodil I picked is BOLD, vibrant and confident just like its namesake, Susie.  I sawit now blooming around my graden during early spring and it reminded of all my amazing memories with her.

In loving memory my friend!



It’s all happening! Spring that is.

Here are my absolute favorite early spring blooms!

1 – Daffodils


I haven’t met one I haven’t liked.  My yard is exploding with these fragrant, happy spring gems.  Talk about the value of delayed gratification – you plant these little bulbs in the fall around Thanksgiving, and they are usually some of the first flowers to bloom.

2 – Forsythia


Enjoy them now, because they don’t last long.  Forsythia is one of those plants that will be growing at the gates of hell. Hardy and delightful.  Bright yellow and with delicate attitude.

3 – Red Bud


These little purple pearls make me smile every time I see them.  Often when you go for a walk you can see them popping in the woods.  A little dappled color among the barren deciduous forest.

4- Witch Hazel


This one isn’t so common, but I find it to be a true delight. So danty…I have a pair in my yard because the awesome little old lady said they needed a happy home to live….it was one of the best plant decisions I made.

5 — Spyria Bridalwreath


They call it a fountain of flowers.  It is wild and wonderful.  Thanks Kathy for this amazing pass-along plant.  Such a spring joy!

What are your top 5?

Happy Spring!


So I returned from my travels to one of my favorite seasons here in NC…glorious spring.  And what did I see when I arrived….my bulbs all in bloom.  If you remember back in the fall, I wrote about my laborious exercise in researching how to shop for bulbs and then the follow up laborious activity of actually planting those more than 200 bulbs…and combine that with my post on how the garden has taught me patience…what do you get?  My absolute amazement with this showy display of daffodils, tulips and hyacinths in my yard.  It is truly a bulb blooming bonanza.  It took my breathe away.  It reassured me that often times patience does has its rewards and, in this case at least, has outperformed my wildest expectations.

Here are a few things to do now:

1- ENJOY….walk outside more, cut them and put them in your house, look back at photos when that part of your garden was bare…or in my case overgrown with my nemesis plant–English Ivy.

2-Take pictures. You will want to know what your yard looks with each burst of blooms, so you can plan for next fall. Also document when each variety blooms, so you can better decide in the fall what you need to plant more of to extend the season.

3-Share. Cut them and share them with your friends, family and neighbors.  You never know, you may inspire someone to add more bulbs to their garden.

4. Brag. You deserve it.  You took the time in the fall to plan and plant those little nuggets of wonder to wait almost 6 months for the pay off.

5. Leverage your joy and pride to plant more and sustain your gardening throughout the spring season.  It is my favorite, but it is the season that gardners literally work the most.  Pruning, preparing, mulching, mowing, planting(inside and out), weeding….You need the energy to sustain you for the season.

Oh….blog partner, Chris, was right…they are so much better in bunches.  Last year I had a few here and a few there.  I had them in these rows as if they were these little British soldiers lined up for battle.  This time…I planted them in bunches….asymmetric, almost wild.  Boy, do they shine in that formation.  You should plant more bulbs…and always in bunches.

What about you? Are your bulbs in a full blooming Bonanza?  Tell us about them.

Happy gardening!



When you plant daffodils, plant a lot of them. They look better in large drifts.

We should all grow more daffodils.   These wonderful plants demand so little  but give us so much–color and fragrance after a long winter, great bunches of blooms for the house.  And best of all, many daffodil varieties come back in larger clumps year after year– 

But daffodils take planning.  That’s the problem.  We buy the bulbs in fall and plant them when our gardens look full with leaves and the last of the perennials.  In November,  I can never remember where I wanted to put more bulbs.  

 So take pictures.  That’s what I ‘ve learned to do.  And don’t just take the pretty, look at my flowers shots.  Take pictures of the bare spots, the empty places where you want daffodils next year.   Then (and this is critical) paste your pictures on a word document and print it.  Next, tape that sheet on your September calendar,  or put it in your garden journal if you have one.   It will remind you to buy or order bulbs in the fall 

Daffodil glamour shot- but the big picture below shows lots of space for new bulbs


I like to order my bulbs.  I get the best selection that way.  But if you’re into buying local, check Logan’s in Raleigh and Dickenson’s on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill for the best in-store selections.  

 Do break out of the big box store habit and try to buy bulbs that bloom EARLY, MID and LATE,   February Gold is the first big burst of color at my house. Little Hawera is my latest, blooming in April.  

Then store your bulbs in a cool place and move your photo from September  to the November calendar.  

I like to plant daffodils on the weekend after Thanksgiving.  But I’ve put them in the ground as late as the day after Christmas.    

Just don’t forget them.   Print the pictures.  Tape them to the calendar.  Come next March,  and you’re growing more daffodils, you’ll be glad you did. 

A long-time gardener and a passionate beginner share the dirt on their NC gardens-

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