Upon seeing a clump of daffodils in a wooded area or a garden, my eyes widen with joy! Narcissus are such a cheerful addition. Not bothered by squirrels or deer, they are no-brainer to plant in the fall. Often, they open between crocus and tulip, arriving just after or at the tail end of hyacinth. Most are yellow, but growers now offer many new varieties with flowers and trumpets of orange, pink, and white. They naturalize into the landscape and many have a slight fragrance.
Since they bloom before trees leaf out, you can plant them in places that are normally shaded by towering trees. After the flower is done blooming, let the leaves remain until they brown in order to feed the bulb for next year’s blooms.
After a heavy rain, you may need to pick up your flowers and give them a shake to get them to bounce back to their happy selves.
I have a wide variety of daffodils in my garden. My favorite, as of late, are the butterfly daffodils. The trumpet is open and curled, mimicking the flounce of my early parrot tulips.
Originally found along the Mediterranean, they now are grown in most zones 3-9 (think Paperwhites for the South, and more hardy varieties that need the cold of winter for the North). The meanings of daffodil seem to stem around hope, rebirth, and joy. Fitting, seeing how they beckon warmer weather of summer after the cold of winter. Spotting dots of yellows throughout the cityscape of Chicago makes quite a cheery scene. Hope they offer you some joy in your day too!