Friday, May 28, 2010

Have You Ever Seen Such a Thing? (the sequel)

. . . Gladys deftly guided us all outdoors.
Some of us walked gingerly around the north side of the house, not at all knowing what to expect. That would include yours truly.
However, meeting us as we rounded the corner was our friend Rosalie. She is rarely coaxed indoors; flower-lover that she is!
(Enter Rosalie)
"Hi, everyone!" she called. "What's going on? I was just about to send out a search party for you!"

To be quite honest, I'd completely forgotten that Rosalie had been waiting for us to meet outdoors. It was refreshing to see her smile, and I asked, "Rosalie. Have you seen anything unusual in my flower gardens? Anything that might make you pause for a second look?"
She'd been smiling so sweetly. I was surprised at her sudden change of countenance.

"Have I done something wrong?" she asked.

Uh, oh, I thought. We really must get to the bottom of this!

It was then that I looked down. Right in front of me was something I had never seen before. A crazily twisted object. This then, was the culprit . . . the object of all the discussion. It had to be! I looked at Rosalie.
"What in the world is that?" I asked.

(enter Hazel)
"I'm sure Shady means, ' What an interesting phenomena. Can you tell us about it, Rosalie?"

(Of course that's what I meant. Thank you, Hazel.)

(enter Harry)
"Now Rosalie, while you're at it, would you mind describing it carefully? And in detail? You know Hazel's the gardener in our family . . . not me."

(Harry. Another one of those tactful types.)

Rosalie brightened immediately!

"Shady, I have the most interesting thing to tell you! I learned this at the arboretum the other day. I was walking along and saw those things, just like these, all over the gardens. I stopped to take a closer look when one of the docents approached me. She asked if I knew what these were. Of course, I said, 'No'."

"Then she explained. And now I can tell each of you!"
Rosalie was positively beaming as she knelt down in front of her creation.
"These are daffodil leaves, she said. Surely you've noticed how floppy they get after the blossoms fade? And how they fall all over the surrounding flowers? And how often those surrounding flowers don't thrive? Well, the leaves are braided! she announced gleefully.

"The leaves still receive all the sunshine they need to create food and energy for the bulb before they die."

"Your surrounding plants are no longer crowded and stunted . . . at least they won't be!" she crowed.

"And YOU have delightful little garden sculptures in all your flower beds!"

"But you no longer have a good supply of rubber bands," she laughed.

"Rosalie, you're a genius!" I said. Rosalie blushed.

And Gladys? Gladys Gardener?

Gladys is off the hook and back on the bench! The garden bench that is! :-)

All's well that ends well. Especially in this shady spot!
Have a great weekend!


Garden Lily said...

What a sweet story, and a happy ending, too. I used to fold mine over and tie them with an elastic, but the braiding looks more creative, for sure.

bobbie said...

What a good idea! And just in time for my garden. Thank you.

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Garden Lily, You can see that I've folded a few over, myself. Esp. if there aren't too terribly many leaves. But I love the braiding... guess I didn't get to do enough braiding on my daughter's hair when she was little! ha!!

Bobbie, I was hoping someone could use this tip - I'm glad it was you! :-)

Nutty Gnome said...

Ha ha ha , oh Shady, this did make me chuckle!!! and I learnt a new trick to deal with my daffs. I'll be out there plaiting tomorrow if it ever stops raining ...... it's a Bank Holiday weekend here, it always rains on Bank Holidays in England!

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Liz, I like to think there will be braided/plaited daff leaves all over the place! ;-)

Kathleen said...

You have some wonderful garden objects SG!! Love them. I remember when you were making them.
Also a wonderful trick to make the bulb foliage more attractive. I wonder if I have the patience to try it here?? Hope you're having a good Memorial Day weekend?!

Rebecca @ In The Garden said...

Great post Shady!! I braided some last year, but haven't gotten around to it yet. I should, since some perennials need a little more room to breathe.

spoilsport jo said...

I am so sorry to throw sand on this truly wonderful post, but...
braiding has been discredited.
Apparently it stops the leaves from producing energy and weakens the bulbs.
So I have been told by them that know.

Shady Gardener said...

Kathleen, Thanks for visiting (always). :-)

Rebecca, Perhaps just doubling them over would be just as effective?

Jo, Are you my friend jo? What about doubling them over and/or straight up with a rubber band? ;-)

Rose said...

I agree that Rosalie is a genius:) What a clever idea! I had heard of putting rubber bands around the dying foliage and setting them off to the side, but never braiding them as well. That certainly creates an interesting effect in the garden. Gardening must be so much fun with such an interesting group of gardening friends, Shady:)

Mr Brown Thumb said...

Braiding the leaves of bulbs that have long ago peaked is a great idea. If only I could remember to do it.

Great, fun post.

jo©o said...

Yes, I am she.
So sorry to spoil your fun.
Still, the overal consensus seems to be that the daf leaves ought to be left to their own devices: as much green surface exposed to daylight as possible for energy production through photosynthesis to build up the strenght of the bulbs for the following year.

That is the main reason that I plant my narcissi in tubs, which I move out of the way as soon as all flowers have faded. I even leave the stems in place and merely snip off the heads. The more chlorophyl the better.
Ask the professional bulb growers.
Or try a 50/50 experiment and let us know next season.

Amici sumus, I hope:-)

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Rose, I actually do both. :-)

Mr. BTh, I have Surprise Lily foliage as well as daff foliage that have "passed their prime" but still need the sunlight. This is when I tie and braid. Otherwise, many of my perennials find themselves smothered!

(I'm glad you both enjoyed the post!)

Jo, You have definitely not spoiled my fun! :-) These leaves have begun turning yellow, so getting them out of the way (those that are crowding perennials) is of prime importance. I don't always braid. Often I just either tie them standing up or bend them over. ;-)

Those leaves that aren't bothering anyone get to stay the way they are! lol.

I love that you gave me a new (Latin?) term!! Amici sumis? Absolutely!! :-)