Who doesn’t love the site of bright yellow Daffodils as chilly winter days come to an end? Since my childhood, growing up in New England. I watched my father plant them and I couldn’t wait to see them peeking through the soil after long snowy days. I made them out of paper, I drew pictures of them (and I still do). Living in Georgia now, I don’t have to wait as long to enjoy the bright sunny blooms. Here in the South, we often have warm weeks in February that bring the Daffodils into bloom just before freezing temperatures return.

Daffodils Saved from the February FreezeI call it my “Daffodil Roundup” when I run out to pick them just before a hard freeze. The house gets filled with the unmistakable Daffodil fragrance and even though they may have suffered some frost damage, they’re bright yellow blooms assure me that spring is just around the corner. I have a few of my grandmother’s vases and I enjoy filling them with Daffodils, just as she did.

Over the years, I’ve learned that sometimes I can get away with adding more Daffodil bulbs on a a warm day in January. When I do this, they’ll come up and bloom later that first year so I can enjoy them until Easter.

When I heard that the American Daffodil Society was hosting their national convention in Atlanta, I couldn’t wait to check out the exhibit. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the Daffodil exhibits were open to the public and other than paid parking, admission was free! I have admired a variety of Daffodil blooms through the years – mostly yellow, occasionally creamy-white, sometimes with orange trumpets but I never knew there were so many different varieties.

Mural at the American Daffodil Society Show

When my husband and I arrived at the convention hotel, I couldn’t have imagined the stunning spectacle and magnificent fragrance that we were about to experience. As we followed the signs and walked toward the ballroom, a cheerful greeter asked us if we’d ever been to a Daffodil convention before. She directed us through the doors and we, along with other visitors gasped in awe as we took in the site of an entire ballroom filled with Daffodils, backed by a magnificent mural.

American Daffodil Convention ExhibitionRows of Daffodils at the American Daffodil Convention Exhibition

Individual blooms of Daffodils were judged in 13 different divisions at the convention. The American Daffodil Society (ADS) classifies Daffodils using 3 characteristics: division, petal colors, and cup colors (I now stand corrected – I’ve been calling the cups “trumpets”). There is even a Daffodil color coding system. You can read more about this on the American Daffodil Society website. The ADS even offers a Daffodil Primer in their store.

Stunning Variety of Daffodils at the American Daffodil Society Convention in Atlanta

I have admired a variety of Daffodil blooms through the years – mostly yellow, occasionally creamy-white, sometimes with orange cups but I never knew there were so many different varieties. I was astounded that the growers were able to preserve their entries during travel to the convention (and the ballroom temperature was very cool). Each bloom was perfect, almost as though it had been sculpted and painted. Below are just a few, among hundreds of perfect, eye-popping Daffodil blooms that were on display at the American Daffodil Society Conference:

Just a few among hundreds of eye-popping Daffodils that filled the ballroom at the American Daffodil Society Conference in Atlanta

The convention was organized by more than 100 volunteers and included 325 horticulture classes and 15 design classes. Individual flowers were judged as well as elaborate arrangements and table settings that incorporated Daffodils. There was even a youth section of the exhibit with individual flowers (grown by children) as well a competition of Daffodil arrangements created by these kids.

Hundreds of Different Daffodils at the American Daffodil Convention Exhibition

“Daffodils” are a species of Narcissus, in the Amaryllis family. There are many common names used for Daffodils including Jonquils, Paper Whites and Tazettas. Paper Whites are actually a type of Narcissus that are not cold hardy and should only be planted outdoors in frost-free zones (8 -11) for a late winter bloom. In colder climates, Paper Whites can still be enjoyed by planting in a variety of containers for beautiful indoor displays.

I enjoy planting Paper White Narcissus in a clear container in a bed of gravel by a sunny window sill during winter months. It’s so much fun to watch the roots develop before green leaves begin to emerge and then finally the bright white flowers fill the room with the distinct, sweet fragrance.

Paper White Narcissus Bloom near a Sunny Window during Winter Months

Daffodils grow from bulbs and should be planted in full sun – at least 6 hours of sun, not just to bloom but to store energy for future years. They can grow on the edge of wooded areas, near deciduous trees (that lose their leaves) but they do need adequate room for their roots to grow and soil with good drainage so the bulbs won’t rot. They look wonderful in rock gardens or raised beds.

Actually native to Africa, Europe, Afghanistan, China, and Japan Daffodils grow beautifully in our country in USDA Zones 4 – 8. It’s interesting to note that the state of Georgia is so big (different weather and soils), that different cultivars and cultivation methods are recommended for North Georgia, including the Atlanta area and northern suburbs. This was interesting to me to learn because I have ordered Daffodils online before and I will pay more attention to the cultivars and descriptions in the future.

You can learn more about Daffodils in Georgia through the Georgia Daffodil Society (GDS). The organization holds 3 meetings per year, supports the Daffodil Days event at Oakland Cemetery, sponsors an annual judged flower show as well as a bulb sale in the fall and a potted bulb and cut flower sale each spring. The GDS also provides a region-specific Calendar of Care for Daffodils. I’ll be referring to this great information as I continue to add and care for Daffodils on our property.

My eyes have really been opened to so many Daffodil possibilities and I now have an even greater appreciation for them. I’m looking forward to next planting season and introducing some new varieties in our garden.

I drew the Daffodil picture in the header of this blog a few years ago. It was popular among my friends and family so I decided to put the drawing on some pillows and clothing items for women, children and men, you can find them in my GardenZeal Shop or use the direct link below.

Click Here to Shop GardenZeal Daffodil Products

Daffodil Pillows & Garments for Women, Children & Men