In October 2020, the Ithaca Garden Club made an extraordinary gift to the City of Ithaca, with the planting along Taughannock Blvd, north of the Ithaca Children’s Garden of 12,000 narcissi and over 5,000 muscari and crocus. This will create a beautiful naturalizing splash of color for all passersby to enjoy for many springs to come.
This daffodil mass planting along with the multi-year planting of crabapple trees along Floral Avenue at the Inlet are part of the Ithaca Garden Club’s “Garden Trail” and part of the Club’s on-going gifts to the City leading up to our Centennial in 2022.
Dr. Bill Miller, Cornell University Professor of Horticulture and Research Director of Horticulture Section, School of Integrative Plant Science guided this daffodil project – one of many in his career of naturalizing bulbs – using an unique planting machine given to Cornell’s College of Agriculture by the Dutch bulb company, A. Geerlings. The planter slices open the sod, drops in the bulbs and then replaces the sod over them. During a recent demo to his students, 8,000 bulbs were planted in 11 minutes which is weeks ahead of what either the students or Club members could have done by hand!
Club members, who turned out to watch and assist on planting day received a lesson in efficient bulb planting from Dr. Miller – “some people might be concerned about the lack of precise placement of the bulbs…. Actually, most bulbs are forgiving about how deep they are planted, despite what you might see on the labels. They also do fine if not planted right side up” which is a relief to hear!