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Daffodil Success at Filoli

Articles: Daffodil Success at Filoli
Naturalized 'Golden Dawn' blooming in late March in the field surrounding Filoli. Photo: Lucy Tolmach

Brilliant fields of blooming daffodils are an important part of Filoli’s spring display, blooming in sequence from early February through May, in a color scheme that complements the surrounding permanent woody plants and other bulb companions. The collection includes modern and ancient cultivars as well as English, historic, and many award winning varieties. Over the years Filoli  gardeners have learned specific gardening practices not necessarily covered in general books on gardening with daffodils to orchestrate this seasonal splendor.

Field Naturalizing

Planting a field of 75,000 bulbs is quite different than planting a few dozen at a time.  For large scale naturalizing we plant into the native soil with no amendments, and no fertilizer.  With thousands to plant, a ride-on trencher is not only desirable, it makes the job possible.  Following tradition, field daffodils at Filoli are planted in long straight rows set 18 inches apart.  Garden volunteers help staff to distribute the bulbs evenly in the trenches on 6-inch centers. The depth of the trench should be two to three times the height of the bulb so planting depths vary from four to eight inche...

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