The first daffs open behind the Summer HouseI predict that this year the daffodils will open. I really think they will! As a matter of fact, some of them have already opened! Every year Blithewold officially opens its doors for the season during the peak daffodil bloom. Or thereabouts. And every year we all try to predict when the majority of the 50,000 will be open so that visitors who travel great distances to see the Bosquet in its famous glory won’t be disappointed.

If we could press a button (I picture it as a bright yellow knob that could be smacked with the flat of the palm – or as a giant on/off toggle that could be thrown ceremoniously like a cartoon electric switch) we’d turn them on on a Friday afternoon before a sunny weekend in the exact middle of April. daff cam 4-7-08But we gardeners know that flowers open only when they’re good and ready not because we’re standing over them shouting “Go!”. And although some of us aren’t above peeling open a bud to “help it along”, that isn’t a recommended method for coaxing thousands of daffodils. We have to be patient and at Blithewold we cross our fingers too. If the daffs open too early, their admirers won’t be on the ball to enjoy them; too late and they’ll miss the party thrown in their honor.

I can’t say yet when the peak will be this year – predicting that with any accuracy is something only God and Julie can do. I just want to make sure nobody misses anything. The best thing to do is get yourself a membership and start taking Blithewold walks now even if you have to wear ear muffs and galoshes. daffs and Scilla behind the bench 4-7-08Watch the weather – the sun is supposed to come out this week which will no doubt inspire a few more buds to unwrap and the night temperatures are still in the 30’s which should ensure that the blooms rest open like they would in a florist’s fridge.

And whether or not you time your timing to be dazzled by daffs during your visit to Blithewold, there are other things to notice too. Look for spring and find it in the Autumn Cherry,

Prunus subhirtella ‘Autumnalis’ - Higan cherry/Autumn blooming cherry - in spring bud

fattly budded quince and forsythia, the Cornelian Cherry, Cornus mas (Cornelian cherry) in full flower - slightly past peak.

and adorable pleated baby leaves of the Siebold viburnum.Viburnum sieboldii (Siebold Tree Viburnum) leafing out

Are you planning a road trip to see a daffodil show? Ours or someone else’s? Will you wait (with bated breath) for the peak bloom or see what you see when you see it?