Spring’s Happy Faces


“There are souls in this world
who have the gift of finding joy everywhere,
and leaving it behind them when they go.”
Frederick William Faber


Bright yellow Narcissus x odorus ‘flore pleno’, also called ‘Queen Anne’s double jonquil,’ blooms with a clump of N. ‘Thalia’ this week,  within a clump of evergreen Arum.  Arum grow from fall until early summer,  forming a beautiful ground cover around spring bulbs.


Watching spring’s flowers unfold, day by day as the season warms, brings us happiness.  Sharing these beautiful flowers, that are popping up so extravagantly this time of year, allows us to share the happiness with friends.

What a joy to have enough flowers to cut and bundle into bouquets for a vase and to share with visiting friends.


Double Narcissus ‘Albus Plenus Odoratus’ is an heirloom variety, and has brought happiness each springtime since at least the mid-Nineteenth Century.


There is a language of flowers.  Their colors and forms, fragrance and presentation allow us to convey meaning through gifts of floral beauty.


Narcissus ‘Thalia’ is another heirloom Narcissus, dating to at least 1916. It is one of the few pure white daffodils, and shines like a beacon from sunrise until well past sunset in the garden.  Here, it is planted with lambs ears and Scilla.


Filling the garden with spring blooming bulbs remains the easiest and most reliable way to fill the garden with waves of flowers from late winter until May.


Narcissus ‘Tahiti’ is one of the brightest and warmest of the double Narcissus.  It grows here with N. ‘Katie Heath.’


Spring bulbs appear reliably once the weather has warmed enough for them to thrive.  They give a long season of bloom, and most are perennials.


This split corona Division 11 Narcissus may be N. ‘Smiling Twin,’ hybridized by Brent Heath in Gloucester, VA.


Many bulbs, like Narcissus, divide and form ever expanding clumps over the years.  Some will spread by seed if you leave the flowers in place to mature.   They appear for only a few months each spring. Their foliage dies back and disappears by early June, when summer flowers have taken center stage.


Ipheion uniflorum, star flower,  bloom in our front lawn each spring.


Even small, insignificant spring flowers naturalized in the lawn, like Ipheion uniflorum, bring a smile.  They join whatever spring time wildflowers crop up to create a floral carpet on the lawn as we greet April.



Spring flowering trees also fill our garden with early flowers.   While a bulb may give us only a single flower, a tree may give us thousands.

Flowering trees cover themselves in flowers, often before their first leaf unfolds.  We enjoy their ephemeral beauty for a few weeks until the petals blow away on the wind, to live on only in our memories until next spring.


Native dogwood, Cornus florida, has been name ‘Wildflower of the Year’ by the Virginia Native Plant Society.  The swelling buds of our dogwood trees are just beginning to open this week.


Our garden fills with more flowers each day.  The earliest daffies have begun to fade, while the late season daffodils are just showing their first leaves poking up through the soil.  Cool weather means that each stem lasts a few days longer, and they never mind a good rain.  They are joined now with Hyacinths, Muscari, Leucojum and other early flowers.

Vinca minor weaves and evergreen ground cover, studded with periwinkle blue flowers beneath them all.



Our woody shrubs and trees come along in their own sequence of spring flowers, too.  From the earliest Forsythia and Camellia we enjoy new flowers every week; now the dogwoods will soon fill the garden with clouds of white flowers.


Dogwood just coming into the fullness of its beauty.


May this springtime bring you happiness, too, unfolding in beauty and wonder all around you.

Woodland Gnome 2018


“Those who wish to sing always find a song.”
Swedish Proverb


Magnolia liliiflora ‘nigra’



About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

8 responses to “Spring’s Happy Faces

  1. Beautiful! My grand daughter was especially attracted by daffodils this spring… so many variations🙂

    • Mine, too…. in fact, she tasted one! Thank goodness she spat out the petals and didn’t swallow… still a few anxious moments for my daughter after I explained that daffodils are poisonous. It amazes me to see how many variations are possible with daffies. They are great early season entertainment ❤ ❤ ❤

  2. Jeanne

    Goodness, the Narcissus “Thalia” is beautiful! Thank you for sharing all these lovely “daffies!”

  3. such lovely bulb plants!

  4. Spring is just the best! So nice to see your flowers, can’t wait for mine to wake up. 🙂

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