Dealing With Dying Daffodil Leaves
Have you ever noticed that recommendations in gardening books are sometimes a bit unrealistic for the typical home gardener? For example, you always read that the fading foliage of spring-blooming bulbs should be left to die before being removed. Of course, this means that the garden will look less-than-perfect (that’s putting it mildly) for a few weeks while the leaves turn brown, flop over, and wither. The books suggest that you plant hostas and other perennials to hide the yellowing foliage, but we all know that these plants never really cover up the unpleasant sight of dying leaves.
As a result, many people resort to alternative methods of “spring bulb leaf control.” Here are some of the techniques I’ve seen used recently:
- strangulation by elastic band, or the “marching soldiers” technique (shown at right)
- artful braiding
- the “mow it down now and replant in the fall” method (also known to some in the landscaping trade as “job security”)
- pom-pom or globe designs (often incorporating multiple elastic bands)
- laying leaves flat on the ground to create a multi-hued and ever-changing “carpet”
What’s your favorite or most memorable ”not supposed to do it but I’ve seen it done” technique for dealing with fading foliage?