Cheré Dastugue Coen
This Weekend is All About Daffodils
Delight in the myriad colors that the early spring flower brings!
Now that winter appears to be slinking off, it's time to get outside. And if you're like us, you want flowers, color, sunshine!
Here are a few places honoring that brilliant harbinger of spring - the colorful daffodil.
Wye Mountain, Arkansas
The Wye Mountain Daffodil Festival of Arkansas turns 44 this year, a celebration that dates back to the 1920s when Austin and Bessie Harmon ran a fruit farm next to a schoolhouse where the congregation of Wye Evangelical United Brethren Church met. A feed store owner gave Austin Harmon daffodil bulbs to plant on his 7-acre farm if he returned the following year with bulbs from a flower division. Harmon did what he was asked and the agreement soon became profitable for both. Word spread of Harmon’s orchard abloom in daffodils and others started purchasing bulbs. It turned into a blooming business (pun intended) and the five and dime TG&Y soon began selling Harmon's bulbs. After the couple’s death, the business faltered and the neighboring church parishioners and community residents took up the daffodil call. They created the Wye Mountain Daffodil Festival to save the blooms.
This year’s festival is March 5-13, 2022, and will include live music, arts and crafts and food vendors. Flowers may be peaking later this year, so it's advisable to visit at the end of the run.
Want to know more? Read the full history here.
Gibbs Gardens, Georgia
About an hour north of Atlanta lies Gibbs Gardens, a mountain flora oasis of color that delights visitors from March until fall. James Gibbs, founder of Gibbs Landscape Company in Atlanta, designed and developed the gardens over a period of years, showcasing his natural ability at landscaping and offering visitors fields of many different flowers, trees and shrubs.
There are so many reasons to visit Gibbs Gardens, which opens today (March 4, 2022), but this time of year we love to celebrate its 50 acres of daffodils dedicated to the memory of James Gibbs’ mother, Margaret Anderson Gibbs. About 50,000 to 100,000 new daffodils are planted every year and vary in color. The daffodil season extends until mid-April, which is why Gibbs offers a “Bloom Update” on its website. You can access it here.
Garvan Woodland Gardens, Arkansas
Self-taught gardener Verna Cook Garvan planted hundreds of flowers, trees and shrubs to create Garvan Woodland Gardens outside of Hot Springs, Arkansas. The sprawling woodlands included several rolling fields of daffodils and more than 160 different azaleas. With no heirs to inherit the property, Garvan left her landscaped 210 acres to the University of Arkansas’s Department of Landscape Architecture. Today, visitors may roam through the gardens, with daffodils and early spring bulbs blooming from now until mid-March.
As of the first week in March (2022), daffodils are about 50 percent in bloom. Follow their progress on the Garvan Gardens Facebook page.
A few other places to enjoy daffodils this month…
Bellingrath Gardens southwest of Mobile, Alabama
Brookgreen Gardens, south of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Callaway Resort & Gardens south of Atlanta, Georgia
Spring Flowerfest runs March through May