This week we visit beautiful Barnsley
Gardens in Adairsville, Georgia. We'll look at some beautiful
Heirloom Daffodils and flowering shrubs. Robert Stoney is
the horticulturists at Barnsley Gardens and our tour guide
in this show. Barnsley Gardens is a historic garden and
no historic garden should be without Daffodils. At Barnsley
they have both historic and modern cultivars. There are
about 20-30 really old fashion, genuine Heirloom Daffodils,
but in total over a hundred of the various types.
With so many different types it can become
confusing. A good place to start is with a botany lesson
that discusses the different parts. With this information
we should be able to enjoy them a little more. Daffodils
come in every size and shape. King Alfred is a good place
to start, it fits everyone's idea of a Daffodil. Daffodils
are divided into divisions based upon their parts. The middle
part, a tube or trumpet, is technically called corona, which
means crown. The petals are called perianth segments. The
relationship between the two distinguishes the type or division.
There are about 15 different divisions. Mt. Hood is all
white, the trumpet is much longer than the perianth segments.
It is a mid season Daffodil, it opens slightly yellow and
fades to white. It is an example of the definitive Daffodil
"Sweetness," an heirloom variety,
is commonly known as a large cup. The corona is about one
third longer in length than the perianth. It has a strong
scent of vanilla and was bred in 1939. "Scarlett O'Hara
is also a large cup. It has bright orange, even scarlet
tingeing on the edge. If you look closely you'll notice
a trace of white on the tip of the petals. "Geranium"
is a small cup. Normally it has many heads. but importantly
for classification, the cup is less than one third the length
of the perianth segments. "Winston Churchill"
is a double form. It looks less like a Daffodil, almost
like a Camellia. It is double because the petals, the perianth
segments are doubled and the corona is reduced to almost
nothing. "Orange Phoenix" is another double Daffodil.
This is sometimes referred to as "Bacon and Eggs."
It is orange, white and yellow, resembling eggs. It's an
old variety, dating back to the 1700's and was one of the
first daffodils ever bred. Triandus is another division.
Triandrus means three flowered. "Thalia" is one,
it has swept back petals and three flowers on each stem.
It was bred in the early part of the 20th century. On the
other end of the spectrum is the "Hoop-Petticoat"
or Bulboodium. It has a great, exaggerated trumpet and the
perianth segments are reduced to tiny spurs. Unusual but
a real delight.
If you're looking for something to partner
with Daffodils, something that is going to look good but
not compete with them think about Snowflakes, scientific
name Leucojum. They like dappled shade, even a little sun.
They like a cool slope. Benign neglect is ideal, leave them
alone. Let them stay up until at least the end of May before
you mow them down. This is the same with Daffodils. This
plant will do well at the edge of a pond, they don't mind
having their feet wet and in water for part of the year.
Pansies are a star in southern winter
gardens. They provide color from fall to early spring. When
Pansies start to lose their bloom and start to fade when
the temperatures rise, pinch them back. Remove about half
the foliage, it will keep them stocky and full and blooming
when it warms.
Dr. Rick offers some advice for the care
of your Daffodils. When the flower starts to fade, remove
the bloom. At that point the plant will try to produce a
seed and that requires a tremendous amount of energy and
that detracts from its ability to spread. Daffodils are
a low maintenance plant, they don't require much care. Don't
add organic matter to the plant, it over nitrogenates the
plant. They don't like wet feet so raise the bed if you
have heavy, soggy soil. They don't like too much nitrogen,
the first number on the fertilizer bag. It will encourage
green growth but few flowers. They do like phosphorous,
the middle number, so use something like bone meal. This
provides very slow, long lasting supply of phosphorus which
encourages root growth and flower growth. Plant Daffodil
bulbs, and all bulbs that come back year after year, in
the fall. Fall is good because soil temperatures stay a
little warmer than the air temperatures. Wait until air
temperatures are in the 40's and 50's, then 4-6 weeks later
plant the bulbs. In zone 7 that is typically around Thanksgiving.
Where should Daffodils be planted? Daffodils like full sun
to partial shade, they typically face the sun. They need
well drained soil or their roots tend to rot over the winter.
When should you move or divide daffodils?
A good rule of thumb is to leave them alone, they don't
like to be disturbed for the first couple of years. If you
start to see smaller flowers or fewer flowers you might
want to divide them. The best time to divide them is after
the foliage starts to fade. When you can't see the above
ground parts of the plant get a shovel and dig up an entire
clump. Remove only the parts that easily break apart from
the group. Don't forcefully break them because damage can
be done to the mother plant. Once done get them back in
the ground, they don't do well when exposed to the air.
Tulips are a luxury in the garden. This
variety "Ollioules" is a French variety. They
are great for spring color. Robert puts them in, lets them
grow, flower once, then lifts them. In some parts of the
country they come back like a Daffodil. They frequently
are attacked by rodents that eat the bulb. They are difficult
to fatten up, the tulip needs to be force fed. Summer heat
is another problem in the south and it is not cold enough
in winter to provide the dormancy needed. If healthy, they
only need watered, don't need fertilized. Just pull them
up when done flowering and plant another annual with color.
Flowering Quince, Chaenomeles Speciosa"
is not for everyone. It is beautiful for a week or so but
after that it's mundane. It's an heirloom and when in bloom
has 3 extraordinary colors, white, pink and deep scarlet.
All on the same shrub, not a graft. This is "Chimera"
and looses its leaves at the end of summer and can look
ordinary. Robert has a vining plant, Cypress vine, growing
in the tree to add interest at the end of the summer when
the tree looses its leaves. It is a miniature flowered Morning
Glory. The quince tree produces an apple like fruit, that
is full of pectin.
Putting plants together in a container
or garden is always a challenge. Think about color intensity.
Intensity refers to the clarity or pureness of color. The
yellow and purple Petunia have intensity, while the red
does not. Intense colors go well together.One way to create
visual punches in your garden is to concentrate all plants
that bloom at the same time in the same part of your garden.
Robert has done that at Barnsley Gardens. Bridal wreath
spirea is a member of the rose family. They love full sun
and grow to between 4-6 feet tall. They have nice arching
branches and are a nice compliment to round, shrubs. The
plant next to it is another flowering Quince, Chaenomeles.
It has heavy thorns, is very thick and works well as a barrier.
Prunus x Yedoensis, the Yoshino Cherry
is a profusion of blossoms in the spring. It looks like
snow as the blooms fall. And the blossoms only last about
a week. It is a wonderful form for nectar and pollen early
in the year. It's a great plant for the south, it's life
span is about 25 years, but it's magnificent.The Eastern
Red Bud, Cercis Canadensis, is visible in the spring because
of its' pink buds. The reason you can see the flowers, really
buds, is because the leaves haven't yet come out. The buds
don't open. One version is called Flame. It's an understory
plant, it thrives in the soil in Georgia and is native up
the east coast. These plants if under stress the summer
before seem to flower better the next year because they
may be desperately trying to reproduce before they die.
Forest Pansie is another variety, its leaves are copper
or bronze and stay that way through summer. Their leaves
tend to be coarse and textured and far apart. There is another
variety called Mexican Redbud, it has a leaf with a wavy,
crinkly edge which is very decorative. These trees have
a lifespan of 15-20 years, but they grow quickly and are
easy to replace.
Lilac is unusual in the south. Some call
it a tree, some a shrub, but it is flamboyant. This plant
is "Swathmore," Syringa x Hyacinthiflora. It is
bred to withstand the hot summers and mild winters. Pocahontas
is also excellent for tolerating heat. They bloom on last
years wood, so don't prune them in winter because you'll
be cutting off the flowers. Pruning is necessary only to
shape the tree. Cut out any dead wood. Bugs aren't a problem.
They like calcium and lime in the soil, they don't do well
in acidic soil. Bone meal has lime and phosphorous so it
is a good way to feed these trees. They are beautiful and
have a wonderful fragrance.
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