Archive for May, 2020

By Gail K.
That come before the swallow dares, and take
The winds of March with beauty
–Wm Shakespeare, The Winter Tale

Following my most recent posts I want to share a question I had while putting the articles together….

When you look at this photo do you see a daffodil or narcissus??
What about these??


My quest- search the internet & find the answer.
NARCISSUS: Latin, Botanical name for Daffodil.

DAFFODIL-March birth flower common name for all members under the genus Narcissus.

The Narcissus is a conspicuous flower with 6 petal like Tepals, surmounted by a cup or trumpet shaped corona.100’s of species. Native to Asia, China & Mediterranean; European colonist brought to the New World.

Finding terminology confusing; thanks to a web page “Dave’s Garden,” I finally grasped the concept of a “complete flower.” The outer whorl has 6 Tepals; 3 sepals & 3 petals, making the perianth. The second whorl is 1 central corona/trumpet which varies in shape & color.

I hope you see the specific parts above?.

This along with foliage, # of blooms per stem, size, color & flowering time determine “classification” of 25,000 registered hybrids.

per Webster Dictionary-
Daffodil-various perennial bulbous herbs (genus Narcissus) of the Amaryllis family esp’ one whose flowers
have a large corona elongated into a trumpet (compare narcissus-jonquil) {so that is why they are in the bulb show}

AMARYLLIS- University of Minnesota web page, good info- Species amaryllis Belladonna-from Africa, in zone 5 we see them as forced bulbs in winter. However, the genus amaryllis, includes the name “Naked Lady” and we do plant those in zone 5.

PAPERWHITES – prefer zone 8-11, minature white blooms, used in zone 5 as forced bulbs during Christmas season-

JONQUILS- quail daffodils/Narcissus jonquilla family (specific type of daffodil); planted in fall- zone 4-9, display “clusters” of 2-4 small, fragrant yellow flowers per stem. In Mediterranean jonquils may be white with short tubed shape blooms.

I discovered, I have more Jonquils than “Daffodils” but I do prefer the small size & clustered look

but trust me–I did this unknowing what I was really doing……..after all, a bulb is a bulb and if the flower is
yellow with a trumpet & comes up in spring–it’s a daffodil…right?
Moving on-
DAFFODILS- relate to larger flowering versions; the trumpets being long, in various colors.

Some trumpets are ruffled

and those with no trumpet labeled as double.

again I ask–Daffodil or Narcissus???
Right or Wrong??? Does it really matter??
I hope this ditty will bring a smile


She wore her yellow sun-bonnet,
She wore her greenest gown;
She turned to the south wind
and curtsied up and down.
She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
“Winter is dead”
A./A. Millne, “When We Were Very Young”

In closing: such back & forth in weather and having to maintain social distance—
this seemed most appropriate-enjoy hope to see ya all soon! g

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.
Wm. Wordsworth, “I Wander’d Lonely as a Cloud”



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I just discovered this post among my many emails, so am posting for your information. Somehow I completely missed it.

Naida sent this to me to Post.

Draper-Houston Meadows Preserve (no dogs allowed) is just yards west of the Milan Kroger store on Mooreville Road.


After I gave a talk on local Parks and Preserves earlier this year, Naida asked if I would lead a walk through Draper-Houston Meadows Preserve during this spring’s wildflower season. I agreed. Then I learned that retired Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Naturalist Faye Stoner was set to do that very thing. I suggested that MIlan Garden Club take advantage of Faye’s superior botanical knowledge and plan to join her walk. Then came COVID-19, and it seemed that all such opportunities would have to be abandoned to accommodate social distancing.

Then an idea hit me. With everyone itching to get outside and enjoy Nature after having been cooped up so long this spring, why not set up a Self-guided Wildflower Tour. Here it is.

Depending on how much you want to bask in the warming spring weather and take in Mother Nature’s wonders, the walk should take you somewhere around one to two hours. For your safety from infection, I urge you to walk it alone or only with family members with whom you are cohabiting. It would be a good idea to have masks for those times when you meet or pass someone on the trail. (I’ve encountered 10-15 other visitors each of the two days it took me to assemble the information for the map!) And, it should be possible to step 6-feet off the trail whenever two parties are passing, but please choose your steps carefully so as not to damage the vegetation.

During your walk you may also want to look for the first evidence I’ve seen in my 50 years in Milan of Beaver activity. You’ll spot that right beside the east end of the north pier of the bridge. It’s a beaver-cut willow stump about 6″ in diameter. Also, while walking the trail along the flooded area and the Buttonbush swamp, keep your ears pealed for amphibian songs. In the past few days I’ve heard Chorus Frogs, Leopard or Pickerel Frogs (a dry, rising series of non-musical croaks), and Anne called out our first Tree Frog call of the season as we walked Day Road last evening. And, of course, don’t spend all of your time looking down. The migratory birds are returning. (Anne just pointed out our first house wren of the season repeatedly, and I mean repeatedly, entering and exiting the gourd nesting chamber right outside our kitchen window. Like the absent-minded onetime school teacher I know well, he would literally walk out his “door,” turn on a dime, and go back in for another look. I bet he did that 10 times in two minutes!

While making my rounds of the Preserve yesterday I recorded Mallards, Canada Geese; Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy or Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, American Robin, Red-winged Blackbird, Red-tailed Hawk, Turkey Vulture, White-breasted Nuthatch, Tufted Titmouse, Northern Cardinal, Blue Jay, American Crow, and Song Sparrow. Always check out any big dark bird flying or soaring overhead. It you can spot white at either end, you will be seeing one of the Bald Eagle pair that are raising their 4th brood of young right now in their nest withing the city limits of Milan! And with today’s warm, sunny weather, a dozen or more species of warbler and other spring migrants should soon appear.

Two final bits of advice. The trails are wet and muddy at this time of year: wear appropriate foot gear. I got by OK with sneakers, but I’m very careful of where I step. And it is tick season already. This past week I have already removed two ticks that had not yet embedded in my skin. It is best to wear long pants and tuck them into calf-length socks, then spray Off around the junction. (I’ve had hundreds of tick bites over my lifetime and have suffered no ill effects, but after every walk through natural vegetation, when showering it is a good idea to do a full body “feel” for “moles you didn’t know you had.)

John Farmer

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Gail sent site for Oak Opening Events. Below is a link for their site information:


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Stella is already volunteering/planting at TBG and had this
update on the sensory garden plan we heard about. Worth posting?
Stella writes:
Thought this might be of interest to members since Steve came and talked to
the group when this was just a concept.
They have the cement poured and are starting on the raised beds. Many are
built and now the are looking to line with garden fabric! Goal to plant and
have it available soon -pdate on the sensory garden plan we heard about.

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