Daffodils for sale
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils…
- William Wordsworth
Double daffodil

Double daffodils are heavy and rarely stand up on their own. View them at their best in a tall vase.

Photo Credit: Lane Greer

Tulip combinations

This yellow, red and purple color combination works in the field, as well as in the vase.

Photo Credit: Lane Greer

Tulip 'Zurel'

The Triumph tulip ‘Zurel’ has amazing combinations of white and purple. It blooms in midspring.

Photo Credit: Lane Greer

For some people, robins are the first sign of spring. But I believe, like Wordsworth, that daffodils herald the season. I love to see huge groups of daffodils being grown on a hillside, and I always want to bring part of that scene indoors. Daffodils make good cutflowers, as do tulips, but there are a couple of tricks to getting these two bloomin’ beauties to perform to their maximum.

Cut Daffodils

As soon as you cut a daffodil stem, you’ll see the problem. The runny, sticky sap the plant exudes is poisonous to other cutflowers. Many people think that daffodils can’t be combined with any other flower, but here’s a tip: Place them by themselves in water for 24 hours. After that, they’re safe to combine in mixed bouquets. For long vase life, cut daffodils the minute they open and use floral preservative. Some of the best daffodils to cut are the loveliest, since the cultivars with double flowers are heavy and rarely stand up on their own in the garden, especially after a good rain. (Just use a tall vase to keep them upright indoors.)

Cut Tulips

Tulips have been a favorite cutflower since the 16th century, but some gardeners are shy when it comes to cutting these plants, since each bulb produces only one flower. (So next fall, plant a few extra for cutting.) Because tulips rarely bloom for more than one year, you can cut the tulip all the way to the ground or pull it out – bulb and all. After cutting or pulling, remove all the lower foliage, then place the stems in plain water. Unlike many cutflowers, tulips shouldn’t be placed in floral preservatives. These flowers will last about a week in water. To create a pretty spring bouquet, combine tulips and daffodils with other garden goodies, like flowering cherry branches, daphne and forsythia. Use needled evergreens, hollies and camellia foliage for filler material, and enjoy a charming (and often fragrant) arrangement on your table or dresser.