Daffodil Days of Spring

By Helena Touhey

Daffodil season has arrived to Greater Newport

A child enjoys the daffodils at Blithewold in Bristol. | Courtesy of BLithewold

The arrival of March and April brings with it the annual celebration of daffodils, which will soon be populating fields and parks with their particularly sunny shades of yellow and orange.

New this year: Double the number of spring blooms at Blithewold in Bristol, where an additional 40,000 bulbs were planted last fall, bringing the total number of daffodils to 100,000. Altogether, 80 varieties are represented around the 33-acre seaside estate, which will celebrate Daffodil Days from April 13-21. In addition to the daffodils, 15,000 spring bulbs have been planted around the grounds, which means there will be an eight-to-10- week display of the season’s first flowers.

Delightful daffodil highlights at Blithewold include: The return of afternoon teas, beginning April 2; the grand opening of the Marjorie Van Wickle Lyon Gallery with the exhibition “Singular Focus: Bristol Art Museum Takes Root at Blithewold,” with an opening reception planned for April 7; and a joint effort between The American Daffodil Society, Blithewold, and the Bristol Garden Club, who welcome all daffodil enthusiasts to the first annual “Blithewold in Bloom” show April 20-21. For more information, visit blithewold.org.

Sharing in the love for all things daffodil, Newport in Bloom has planted more than 1,465,000 daffodils throughout Greater Newport to date. The top five places to view these plantings are along Coddington Highway, at Ballard Park, along Cliff Walk, across from First Beach and at nearby Dunlap-Wheeler Park.

Newport’s 13th Annual Daffodil Days takes place from April 6-28, and festive highlights include a window decorating competition, when local merchants are encouraged to “Get the Yellow Out” with a daffy- themed display. Other highlights include a Daffodil Bike Ride in partnership with Bike Newport on April 20. The ride is four miles long, beginning at Touro Park and ending at Ballard Park, with a prize for the daffiest outfit and best-decorated bike. And on April 21, the Driving Miss Daffodil Daffy Parade returns. Hosted by The Audrain Auto Museum, the ride takes place from 8 to 10 a.m. Daffily decorated vehicles encouraged.

All contributions made during Newport in Bloom’s Daffodil Days support the purchase of more bulbs to plant and giveaway each October. For more information, visit newportinbloom.org.

A vehicle decorated for the Driving Miss Daffodil Daffy Parade. | Courtesy of Audrain Auto Museum