Cape May’s Early Spring Daffodils

Cape May, NJ – There’s nothing like that first bunch of daffodils in the Spring to stir up spring fever.   I  found the earliest bloomers last week on Stevens St. in West Cape May.  Now, it’s a week later. I want more.

I do have some parameters for my searching.  In addition to early blooming, there must be more than a handful of daffodils.  One or two just won’t make the cut.   And they must be on Cape Island. Here, our weather is just a bit cooler than inland areas this time of year.   If you want to compare blooms,  you have to do it on a level playing field. Fair’s fair.

I head over to B&B row on Columbia Avenue, always a good place to start. Flowers that were shut tight last week are now open wide. I particularly like the way the sun is shining on a bright blue fence planted with yellow and orange daffodils.

No matter where they’re planted, daffodils will always turn south to face the sun.  The flowers have to be on the north side, for best effect. Daffodils planted on the south side of a street end up turning away  from the street.   This I learned the hard way.

I score twice on the north side of Columbia Avenue. Along with the grouping against the blue fence,  there’s a huge drift a block away,  right along the street.  I know this spot. Just a week ago, these flowers were just buds.

Daffodils in Cape May

One yard on the north side of New England Road, always has a wonderful early display. That’s where I head next.

Sure enough, these vintage daffodils, planted many, many years ago, are naturalizing every nook and cranny.  I know this yard. There will be daffodils later in the season as well.

There are actually three types of daffodils – early blooming, mid-season bloomers and late blooming.  If you plan it right, you can have daffodils from March through April. This year, Cape May’s early bloomers seem just a bit earlier than usual. Maybe a week or two.

In Cape May Point,  friends make a major committment to the early season variety, turning their entire front yard into a spring woodland setting. Every flower in their garden is blooming in unison, like perfectly synchronized swimmers.

While I’m at the Point I stop by the Circle Gardens. A drift of multi colored daffodils winds it way around the circle. How lovely. You can always count on the Circle Gardens.

Perhaps my favorite shot of the outing is a Cape May Point home with two bunches of daffodils growing oh so casually by a front stoop. Oh so charming. Makes you wish everyone planted daffodils. At least everyone on the north side of the street.

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About Jane Kashlak

Jane Kashlak - a journalist, gardener and Cape Island resident - is writing a book.