Granby Land Trust board member Eric Lukingbeal was particularly taken by the naturalized fields of daffodils in various places as he passed through Litchfield and West Granby last spring. It occurred to him that a field of flowers might be just the ticket to brighten up and add interest to the Land Trust’s Dewey-Granby Oak property, and he set a plan in motion.
With the Land Trust’s permission and funds, he ordered 500 daffodil bulbs from Bantam, Connecticut’s Van Engelen company — a well-known and highly respected importer of high quality Dutch bulbs. After the bulbs’ arrival in the fall, Lukingbeal spent a week digging 100 holes a day, and on the frosty Saturday morning of that week (November 9) a crew of four joined him in the planting. Dave Emery, Dennis McGlynn, Steve Perry and John Weeks said the hardest part was breaking up the clumps of grass that Lukingbeal had dug out. In addition to the 500 bulbs originally ordered, an anonymous donor added another 100, so the crew actually planted 600. The following week, Lukingbeal decided to add the 100 bulbs he had ordered for himself, so the final total is 700 daffodils to hopefully pop up come spring.
Daffodils are one of the hardiest plants, lasting decades, and possibly much more if planted properly, meaning that the soil is healthy and well-drained. It is important to not cut the leaves until they have turned brown sometime in mid-summer, long after the blossoms have disappeared. Through photosynthesis, the leaves provide food for the bulbs until the emergence of the new growth the next spring.
One of the really advantageous aspects of daffodils is that deer do not like them, as they do tulips and other spring blossoms. That being the case, Granby residents should enjoy a spectacular view come springtime!