Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Great Daffodil Count

My paternal grandmother had daffodils. Lots of them. In her last year she had 880 in her yard. How do I know? She counted every one. Now, in Grandma's honor, I do the same every year. I've never planted them - there were a lot in my yard already. I have had to re-plant some as they seem to work their way to the surface during the summer. It is fun to see them increase in number each year.

This year, I'm not sure they increased. The flowering in the side garden has looked a bit sparse. Perhaps I need to divide them? I don't really know.

Here is Grandma's simple rule for counting dafodils: count as you cut. That way you don't double-count, and you don't miss any. In March, before I had any daff blooms, I visited my sister and soon-to-be brother-in-law in Portland. BIL was showing off the yard at their new house, including the blooming daffodils. "There are 35," he said. "I counted them because your sister told me about your grandmother and said they had to be counted."

"So you've already cut 35 daffodils?" I asked. "I only saw a few in the vase in the kitchen."

"No," he replied. "I counted the ones in the yard. The ones in the vase came from a neighbor." So I had to explain Grandma's rule: no counting until you cut them. "So right now I have zero daffodils?" he asked, while pointedly looking at all the daffodils blooming in the yard. Yep - zero daffodils. Until you cut them.

I cut my first daffodils today. 87. I'll update here with the count as I cut the rest this spring, so I have them all in one place.

Friday, 4/9/10: The excessively hot weather over the last week did a number on the daffs. They're done. Cut most of them today - running total is 270, though I think there are only about a dozen remaining.

Last year I finished cutting April 25th, with a final count of 347. Why so few blooms this year?

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