Seeds germinating, second year bulbs (happiness)

Travis O
Sun, 24 Jan 2016 13:56:42 PST
Hi Fred,

Yes it is exciting, but thus far I've seen no flowers from any of my seed grown bulbs. Judy Glattstein wrote something along the lines of (from memory, far from verbatim), "there's a difference between 'It flowered!' and 'garden worthy.'" Meanwhile, I'm just happy to keep them alive!

Only some of the Narcissus in my garden produce seed, and they are all hybrids to begin with. I do no hand pollination, so the resulting seeds are from either pollinators or selfed. In the spirit of my hobby of observing plant-pollinator interactions, I'd like to raise plants that are of interest and usefulness to pollinators. 

Narcissus are low on the list of "pollinator plants" outside of their native ranges, bees being more interested in Crocus pollen and other early blooming bulbs. Aside from raising plants that are acclimated to my garden, I'd like to think they can become acclimated to the local pollinators as well (or vice-versa?). It's like a mini evolutionary experiment. I wonder if, over many years, I could raise Narcissus that are essentially "hand picked" by pollinators and thus visited more frequently than the current daffodils in my yard (which are visited very infrequently, if at all). It's an ongoing area of interest for me.

And I hope my daughters will want to be involved, with gardening in general. My two-year-old is great in the garden, she is very kind to plants, yet a little scared of bees (I've got to work on that). I'm going to get some seeds for her to plant this year (probably borage, nasturtiums, beans/peas, other largish nontoxic seeds that are easy to grasp). Fun is on the horizon!

I'd be happy to hear other ideas of how to involve kids in the garden. Brent and Becky's Bulbs suggest a Crocus "smiley face," something I'll have to explore in the future.

Travis Owen
Rogue River, OR

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