Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Number 294

Daffodils

 

Hello Everyone

 

lt is about this time of year that Auntie Alice’s thoughts turn to planting spring bulbs.

 

Spring bulbs have to be planted in the autumn.  Auntie Alice goes to the Rocky Bay Plant Nursery to choose some more bulbs to grow almost every year. Then she has to make sure that they are in the ground in September or October before the first frosts come because the ground will become hard and more difficult to dig.

 

Bulbs need to be planted at a depth of three times their size and then stay tucked up in the soil all winter ready to break into flower in the bright, chilly days of spring.

 

They often do well under trees because at the time they flower the leaves of the trees are not fully out and their blooms can get lots of spring sunshine.

 

One of people’s favourite spring flowers is the daffodil.

 

They have such lovely, bright, cheerful, yellow faces that bob about in the breeze. 

 

They are such a welcome sight after dark, miserable, rainy, winter days.

 

Did you know that the original name for a daffodil was a Daffodowndilly?

 

Do you prefer that name?

 

lt is a lot longer to say, isn’t it?

 

Did you know that the proper gardening name for a daffodil is Narcissus?  That is a Latin word.  l tell you this because sometimes when a thing has two names it can be confusing, can’t it?

 

Another fact about daffodils is that they are not just yellow.

 

They can be white, orange and pink as well. 

 

Some people only like growing the traditional yellow ones and some people like growing lots of different types to make their garden look more interesting. 

 

Daffodil flowers have a central trumpet with a ring of petals around it.  The trumpet and petals can be the same or different colours.

 

There are hundreds of different types of daffodils.

 

You can even grow tiny ones that are happy in pots and window boxes.

 

Paper-white daffodils can be grown inside as well as outside in your garden.

 

Different daffodils flower at different times and so you can have them in your garden from February to early May!

 

After the flowers have faded and look quite dry and shrivelled you are supposed to take them off their stalks but leave the leaves to fall over and become yellow. 

 

They should be left like this for about six weeks in order that the goodness from the leaves drain back into the bulb.  Then they will have full power to go again the following year!

 

You shouldn’t tie the leaves up either to make them look tidier because they want to gather as much sunlight as possible.  You take the flowers off so that the plant puts no energy into making seeds.

 

Lots of people like to put daffodils in the middle of a lawn where they look wonderful when they are flowering – but they can look a bit of a mess for quite a while afterwards.

 

For this reason, Auntie Alice, likes to plant her daffodils along the bottom of the sunny sides of her hedges.  They look great when they flower and then the hedge starts growing over the messy leaves and she can mow the whole lawn and make it look neat.

 

lf the spring is very dry, she waters the daffodils, and the hedge, with a hose pipe.

 

You would think with the huge garden she has, she would have enough space to grow all that she wants to, but no!

 

l have noticed recently that her flowers are escaping the confines of the garden and they are now spreading through the grass at the sides of the paths leading to her cottage and even heading off down the river bank!

 

There are clumps of daffodils under the trees in all directions.  They look very pretty.  l suspect she planted bulbs there because daffodil seeds take five or six years to turn into flowers and that is a long time to wait – this is why people plant bulbs and not seeds. 

 

You shouldn’t plant daffodil bulbs too close together because they will produce tiny bulbs on their sides and as the plants grow outwards they will become too crowded together.

 

Deer don’t eat daffodils and they are poisonous to pets as well so that is something to remember.  But squirrels will like to dig them up.  So if you have this trouble, put chicken wire across the surface of your soil or pots.

 

Daffodils are a welcome sight for bees who are grateful for this forage early in the season.

 

Auntie Alice’s house is full of bunches of daffodils in the spring too because they do well as a cut flower in vases.  Some people have trouble with the sap irritating their skin, so it might be a good idea to cut the flowers off the plant with scissors rather than snapping them off with your hands. 

 

When the flowers have faded, they can be put on the compost heap.

 

Daffodils first came from lands around the Mediterranean – Spain, Portugal, North Africa and also the Middle East.

 

They were grown by the Ancient Greeks and Romans but not really grown in our gardens until the 1600s.  There are still wild daffodils growing in grass verges in the countryside though.  These daffodils were first introduced by the Romans.

 

lf you want to grow some really unusual ones, you may find a greater choice online than in your local nursery if it isn’t very big.

 

l shall leave the last word to William Wordsworth.

 

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;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
–William Wordsworth, I Wander’d Lonely as a Cloud

 

Bye bye everyone – don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!

 

Love and kisses

 

 

Salty Sam

heart

www.christina-sinclair.com

 

 

 

Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Weekjokejoke

 

Bob:  Where do bees go to the toilet when they are on a long journey?

 

Bill:  l don’t know.  Where do bees go to the toilet when they are on a long journey?

 

Bob:  A BP station!

 

 

Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.

Links may be used to www.christina-sinclair.com

 

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Picture Gallery

 

 

 

 

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   desk  THE SALTY SAM NEWS DESKdesk

 coffee

 

This week we have another of Bill and Bob’s tree seed identification quizzes.

It is amazing how different the sizes of seeds can be – and even a tiny seed the size of a pin head can turn into an enormous tree.

 

 

If you collect any seeds this autumn and plant them in pots, leave them outside in the cold. 

Next spring they might start sprouting and become small trees. 

Baby trees are called saplings.

 

 

 

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Quick Quiz

 

Daffodils are not the only flowers that Auntie Alice has planted outside her garden.  There are lots of forget-me-nots growing in the grass.  They are very clever at seeding themselves and like daffodils need very little looking after.

 

Forget-me-nots look wonderful planted with other spring flowers that bloom after daffodil season like wallflowers and tulips.

 

Can you name these flowers?

 

 

 

 

 

Now take the first letter of each name to make another flower name

 

 

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lt’s the Weekend!

 

 

HOW TO MAKE A GOLDFlSH lN A BAG PURSE

In the Orient, goldfish are considered to be lucky.

So hopefully this goldfish in a bag purse will attract lots of money for you!

 

PURSE (KNIT TWO)

Using 4mm knitting needles and light blue yarn cast on 23 stitches

Knit 1 row

Knit 1 row

 

Knit 30 rows of stocking stitch

 

Purl 1 row

Purl 1 row

 

Knit 1 row

Purl 1 row

 

Purl 1 row

Purl 1 row

 

Knit 4 rows of stocking stitch

 

Purl 1 row

Knit 1 row

Cast off

 

TO MAKE UP

Using Swiss darning, embroider a goldfish onto your knitting before you sew the two pieces together.

You might find it easiest to work upwards along your stitches, so as you get to the top of a row and want to bring your yarn needle down to start a new column of stitches, work the needle and yarn into the stitches you have just made just lightly catching them at the back of your knitting to keep your work neat.

Don’t forget to reverse the pattern for the fish on the other side of the bag so that it is like you are looking at a fish in the water from both sides!

 

KEY

X = orange

C = centre of piece of knitting (also worked in orange)

E = eye worked in black (or another colour, if you wish)

 

The pattern looks tall but will fit well onto your knitting

 

 

      X X X

   X X X X X            X

X X X X X X X    X

X E X X C X X X X

X X X X X X X    X

   X X X X X            X

      X X X

 

 

  1. Sew the two halves of the back together along the sides and bottom using blue yarn and over-sew stitching.
  2. Make a cord by crocheting 50 chains into a length of blue yarn.
  3. Make two cords.
  4. Thread a cord through the channel a little way down from the top of the bag on one side and then the other.
  5. Knot them together at each end.

 

 

 

Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.

It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.

Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.

©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015sand

 

 

Answers to the News Desk Quiz

 

A cone from a larch can hold many flat seeds in its sides

A yew berry has a tiny hard seed inside it

A conker often rolls out of its case as it hits the ground

An apple pip is very small – if you plant one you may get a type of apple never seen before

A cherry seed is encased inside a hard shell

 

(Lots of seeds are poisonous,

so don’t let your baby brother or sister

put them in their mouth!)

 

 

 

 

Quick Quiz Answers

 

  1. Daffodil
  2. Aster
  3. lris
  4. Sunflower
  5. Yarrow

Daisy

 

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