The Grump loves daffodils. They’re by far the best spring bulbs for the South, because they like our climate, they come back year after year, there are so many different types, and — best of all — they poison nasty squirrels who dare to eat them.
This reminds me of probably the most controversial column I ever did for my “Editor’s Notebook” column for Southern Living, before they banished it. It was all about how much I loved daffodils because squirrels couldn’t eat them — at least, squirrels with any sense, which unfortunately left out poor Rocky, who foolishly ignored the warning and ended up in that Great Flea-Ridden Nest in the Sky. Photographer Van Chaplin and I set up a fake grave in Van’s front yard (decorated,of course, with plastic flowers from Wal-Mart) and Van made a headstone that read,”RIP. Rocky. One bulb too many.”
Well, it didn’t take long for the hate mail (which was snail mail in those days) to come rolling in. People actually I was serious about using daffodils to kill squirrels. (I mean, really, have you ever bought D-Con Daffodil Killer for Rats & Squirrels?) One letter was addressed to “Steve Bender, Squirrel Nazi.” It began, “Herr Bender….”
The very fact that rodents won’t eat daffodils makes these bulbs great pass-along plants. One reason we enjoy so many heirloom types today is because people harvest clumps of them growing on abandoned fields and home sites and give them new homes. You just need to make sure you have permission first — and no, you can’t come to my house.
The daffodils shown are ‘Thalia,’ a Triandrus hybrid that’s one of my favorites. It’s very dependable. Each bulb bears multiple, pure white, very fragrant flowers. Remember this name when September rolls around and it’s time to plant daffodils again. You can buy the bulbs at garden centers or order them from these very good suppliers: Brent & Becky’s Bulbs and Old House Gardens.
Dang, there’s a squirrel out there in the yard again! Why can’t you ever find a daffodil bulb when you need one?