Daffodils spread sunshine in the garden

Rob Zimmer

With warm weather the past few weeks, the daffodils have begun their annual spring dance. Yards and gardens throughout the area are bursting with the sunshine colors of daffodils in full April bloom.

One of the earliest spring blooming bulbs to emerge, daffodils appear in many shapes, sizes and colors, much to the delight of winter weary gardeners. Their bright colors, often in shades of yellow and orange, bring to life the new spring and bring cheer and joy to those who watch them.

Daffodils, like tulips, are divided into types based on their bloom time. There are early blooming daffodils, mid-season daffodils, as well as late season bloomers that may flower into early June.

There are also many different types or flower forms of daffodils. There are the classic cup and saucer form blooms. There are also daffodils known as butterfly daffodils or split corona daffodils where the cup is split and flattened. Many varieties of beautiful double-flowering daffodils can also be found. These bloom in spiny, sphere-shaped flowers almost like a pom-pom.

Some daffodils have long, elongated, trumpet-like central cups, while others feature tiny, shallow depressions. Mix and match the various types and bloom times for a spectacular spring display that may last from late March all the way into June.

A great way to do this during fall bulb planting season is to buy large, prepackaged mixtures of different shapes and sizes of daffodils. These often come in packages of 25, 50 or even 100, sometimes with bargain prices and a great variety.

In addition to the classic daffodils in yellow and orange, many daffodils bloom in white. Some of these may have colored cups, or the entire flower may be pure white.

Daffodils in pink are a favorite among many gardeners, and there are many different varieties of pink-blooming daffodils to choose from. Most have pink cups, in light shades or even near red, surrounded by ray petals that may be yellow, white or orange.

As you explore neighborhoods and gardens this spring, make note of the daffodils that attract you and seek them out for fall planting season.

Many garden centers and nurseries carry pre-chilled blooming bulbs now. These can be placed into the garden as normal and will bloom in subsequent years.

You’ll find daffodils, as well as tulips, hyacinths and other spring bulbs, individually planted or in bulb dish or container gardens that can be placed into the garden once they’re finished blooming — or, if you prefer, immediately after purchasing.