One of the most uplifting gifts I've ever heard of giving someone in a time of loss is a wicker basket full of daffodil bulbs. The idea is for the recipient to plant one bulb for every year the loved one lived. Daffodils are the perfect flower for such a happiness-inducing project: as perennials, they'll come back spring after spring -- and they're virtually indestructible. And, the best time of year to plant daffodils is the fall!
In my book, Passed and Present: Keeping Memories of Loved Ones Alive, Forget-Me-Not #46, I introduce Becky Heath, along with her husband Brent. Together, they run Brent and Becky's, a family-owned daffodil farm and distribution center in Gloucester, Virginia (www.brentandbeckysbulbs.com). Becky offers the following advice for success:
1. Begin by choosing a sunny spot.
2. Autumn is the best time to plant daffodils because the bulbs prefer cool soil. If you're in a southern climate, stick with planting jonquils or tazettas, as these daffodils are better suited for warmer temperatures.
3. Plant each bulb at a depth of three times their height, spacing them three times their width apart.
This is a great activity to involve friends, family, and neighbors. Not only will you benefit from the extra hands, you'll be able to use the time to invite conversation and share stories about your loved one.