2017 is the Year of the Daffodil! Did you know that narcissus bulbs were introduced to North America by pioneer women who made the long ocean voyage from Europe to America to build a new future? Given limited space for bringing personal goods, they sewed dormant daffodil bulbs into the hems of their skirts to plant at their new homes to remind them of the gardens they left behind. The remnant ancestors of those bulbs still persist today in older gardens in the eastern half of the US, making them a part of our heritage for over 300 years!
The official botanical genus name for Daffodils is narcissus, which comes from the Greek word ‘Narkissos’ and its base word ‘Narke’, meaning sleep or numbness, attributed to the sedative effect from the alkaloids in its plants. The plant family is Amaryllidaceae, meaning all members are poisonous, which is great for gardeners because that makes them critter proof. Daffodil is actually just a nickname, not a scientific or Latin name.
National Garden Bureau is proud to present the Year of the Daffodil in partnership with the American Daffodil Society.
Connecticut has some great Daffodil events
Meriden Daffodil Festival
Hollister House Garden Escorted Daffodil Walk
George Schoellkopf, the garden’s creator and steward for the past 32 years, will escort an informative and entertaining tour of the 25-acre property, speaking about what to plant for the early spring garden and sharing tricks that he has discovered for better gardening in Northwest Connecticut, all born of long experience. He will be accompanied by Krista Adams, Hollister House’s chief gardener and the person responsible for planting and maintaining the extraordinary property which combines the formality of a classic English garden with a generous abundance of common and exotic plants in surprising combinations. Mr. Schoellkopf is well known in horticultural circles as a gifted garden designer and charming raconteur. He has written articles on gardening for Town & Country, House & Garden, House Beautiful, and Rosemary Verey’s The American Man’s Garden. The Hollister Homestead, site of the garden, was recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places in recognition of its significance in American history and the garden is also one of only 16 Garden Conservancy Preservation Projects.
Litchfield: Laurel Ridge Foundation Daffodil Fields
The daffodils are open to the public from sunrise to sunset during the time of year that the daffodils are in bloom-typically early April through the middle of May. You can learn about the history of the daffodils, find out where they are located, and see recent pictures so that you can tell how far along the blooms are. We have a gallery of photos that we have taken, and we will post photos that people send us. Finally we have a list of other attractions in the Litchfield area that you might want to visit during the time that the daffodils are in bloom.
Weir Farm National Historic Site
Weir Farm National Historic Site is located in the Southwest Hills Ecoregion in the southern part of Connecticut. The park, located in the towns of Ridgefield and Wilton, includes successional old fields, mesic successional hardwood forests, vernal wetland areas, streams, a pond, rocky ridges and two farmsteads with their associated outbuildings.
Right over the border in Rhode Island
Blithewold Daffodil Days
Springtime treats include:
April – Dozens of varieties of Daffodils
Early May – Star Magnolia, Quince, Spirea, Flowering Cherry, Primroses, Corylopsis, Hyacinth, Balkan Anemone, Enkianthus, Honeysuckle, Sweet Shrub, Weigela, and Viburnum
Mid-May – Tulips, Magnolia, Crabapple, Cherries, Primrose, Lilac, Lily of the Valley, Trillium, Mayapple, Dove Tree, Witch Alder, Woodland Phlox, Sweet Woodruff, Spanish Bluebells, and Euphorbia
Late May – Jack in the Pulpit, Ornamental Onions, Columbines, Ferns, Lupines, Japanese Snowbell, Campanula, Nepeta, Forget-Me-Nots, Violas, Summer Snowflake, Sicilian Honey Garlic, and Deutzia