Millions of Daffodils, and More!

One's senses can hardly process the grandeur of the impressive sweep of daffodils - waves of them covering hills and lining paths through the woods, edging streams and covering meadows - for which Gibbs Gardens in northern Georgia is noted.Last year when I visited in April, I missed the daffodils, advertised to number 20 million. While the April scenery was spectacular, I wanted to go back in March this year to see those daffodils. Did I see 20 million? Not quite. It seems the daffodils are planted so there are successive blooms of early, mid, and late blooming varieties. I saw the mid bloomers, so about a third - only 6 to 7 million, with lots of foliage to attest to the presence of the other 13 million. No complaints from me; it was wonderful! Here are images of all those daffodils, and more!

While the mass of daffodils is inspiring, one could not fully appreciate their beauty without stoping to examine individual blooms.

Tulips were also blooming, thousands! The largest display attracted so many people it was impossible to get an image that didn't include lots of people, all taking advantage of the perfect photo opportunity. I finally decided if you can't beat 'em, join 'em! I don't know the people in the following picture, but I couldn't resist a shot of this group taking a selfie.

More images of Gibbs Gardens in March:

Cherry trees were blooming.

Gibbs gardens has some interesting rock formations. Turtle Rock is one of my favorites:

Here is the world's largest Bonsai!

A couple more structurally interesting trees:

Some great sculptures of Mr. Gibbs' grandchildren:

Finally, some more pretty March blooms:Clockwise from top left:Camellia 'Peppermint'; Kerria japonica; Piers japonica; Trillium (unidentified variety).For additional information about Gibbs Gardens and for photos of it in its April glory, see my previous post  Gibbs Gardens, a World-Class Garden in North Georgia. As you can see, one visit is not enough!




Tulips in the Deep South

American Village in Montevallo, Alabama, holds an annual Festival of Tulips, and this year I almost missed it. We arrived two days before the end of the festival, and many of the blooms were spent or already picked by visitors, who, for a fee, are allowed to pull bulbs to take home. Other blossoms had been decimated by a storm the previous weekend. Nevertheless, it was a beautiful day, and there were enough tulips left to appreciate. Many thousands of red, purple, yellow, pink and white tulips, including striped and ruffled varieties, are planted yearly in "You-pick-em" fields. I was happy to meet some of the families and groups of friends who spread across the fields with baskets to search for the perfect blooms. 

Tulips don't flourish in the Deep South, and many people here choose to treat them as annuals, planting new, pre-chilled bulbs each fall. Otherwise, those in climates with mild winters like mine may encourage tulips to rebloom by lifting bulbs in early fall, putting them in a paper bag, then refrigerating them for two to three months before replanting in late fall or early winter. Tulips must have well-drained soil; they should never be planted in wet or irrigated areas. Plant in full sun, 4 - 6 inches deep. Remove the flowers after they fade, but don't cut the foliage. Tulip foliage should be allowed to yellow for 6 weeks so bulbs can store energy for next year's bulbs.

One thing I learned at the tulip festival is that tulips should not be put in the same vase with Narcissus. Flowers like Daffodils secrete a substance that causes the tulips to wilt.

I enjoyed my outing to the Festival of Tulips. I enjoyed the blooms, and I enjoyed watching other people who were enjoying them, too. Shared fun in a "You-pick-em" field makes those tulips extra special.