While visiting a friend’s farm this past weekend, I was walking around an area that was once an old home site when I saw my first daffodil bloom of the season. The bright yellow trumpet jumped out from the gray landscape and it was truly a sight for sore eyes.
I spotted the lone flower partially hidden behind an overgrown bramble. The house was long gone, but the daffodils planted by the former occupant still remained. These abandoned plots are one of the best places to spy early flowering bulbs and shrubs such as daffodils, forsythia and quince. In fact it was just such a place that first sparked my passion for gardening.
As a child I loved to wander through the woods near my house. One morning in late winter during one of my treks I noticed a bright golden drift of daffodils planted along a path leading to the remnants of an old farmhouse. There were more blooms lining a fencerow and as I looked around I uncovered the faint pattern of large rectangles and circles outlining the boundaries of long-forgotten beds. The mystery and magic of that spot planted the seeds that would later grow into my desire to design gardens that invite homeowners to spend time outdoors.
You don’t have to wander the countryside to enjoy early flowering daffodils. It is simply a matter of selecting the right varieties and planting them in your garden next fall. I recommend ‘Ice Follies’ for large, white blooms, ‘Tete-a-Tete’ for petite cups of gold and ‘Rijnveld’s Early Sensation’ for flowers that emerge as early as Christmas in some parts of the country.