Plants - Flower Bulbs

Keep fall bulbs safe with daffodils

Charmian Christie
Photography by
Tara Nolan

Plant these spring charmers with the rest of your bulbs to keep hungry critters at bay

Tired of donating your tulips to the squirrel or deer population? Sprinkling your garden with hot peppers is cruel, scattering your flowerbeds with human hair doesn't work and squirrels can learn to love bone meal. Fortunately, you can get gorgeous blooms and keep tulip-chomping animals at bay simply by planting daffodils overtop of your more tempting bulbs.

Which bulbs?
With countless varieties of both tulips and daffodils the pairing possibilities are endless. To find the right combination for your garden consider:
  • Complementary colours: Opposites attract. White daffodils with brilliant orange centres pop against sky blue tulips. Classic yellow narcissus make a striking display when paired with purple blooms. And dramatic reds and whites form a Canadian spring salute.
  • Mod monochrome: Want to ease into spring with something subtle? Try white-on-white, or mix soft pink tulips with creamy white daffs—with or without a matching pink trumpet. 
  • Textural interest: Double or split-corona daffodils go well with smooth-edged tulips. In love with your double tulips? Pair them with the simple, wind-swept look of Cyclamineus or the flat but eye-catching Jonquilla daffodils. (See page 2 for daffodil divisions.)
  • The garden gamble: You can also let nature surprise you. Plant a bag of mixed tulip bulbs with a bag of mixed narcissus and see what pops up come spring.

Daffodil lasagna
No matter which flower combination you choose, a daffodil lasagna provides a feast for the eyes, but sends squirrels away hungry. For added visual appeal, plant your tulip and daffodil pairs in clusters of odd numbers (groups of five or seven, for example).

1. Select daffodil bulbs that are the same size or slightly smaller than the tulips.

2. In the fall before the frost hardens the ground, dig a hole three times deeper than the length of the tulip bulb, plus an inch or two to accommodate the daffodil.

3. Add some composted manure to the hole. Place the tulip bulb in the hole, top-side up.

4. Cover with an inch or two of soil. Place daffodil bulb in the same hole, top-side up.

5. Cover with remaining earth and water.


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