Garden Photo of the Day

Joseph’s Favorite Daffodils

Great forms of a classic spring flower

It’s Joseph from northern Indiana again here today.

I love daffodils (Narcissus spp. and cvs., Zones 3–8). I mean, I think pretty much everyone does. Right now they are peaking in my garden, and there are so many fantastic varieties out there that I thought I would share a rundown of some of my very favorite selections and why I like them so much.

I’ve realized that I tend to like daffodils that are a soft shade of yellow, rather than the traditional bright yellow. It is just more pleasing to my eye, and I think it goes more easily with other colors in the garden. ‘Cassata’ does that color perfectly. It is a split-corona form, so instead of having the traditional central trumpet, it is split and pulls back like another layer of petals. It opens a soft yellow and then fades to cream, which I just love. The only downside is that this variety hasn’t been the most vigorous in my garden; the bulbs aren’t really multiplying. But it is still beautiful.

‘White Petticoat’ is just a few inches tall and looks so different from the usual forms, with its huge trumpet and tiny, almost unnoticeable petals around it. But for a tiny plant, it packs quite a punch. This cluster of blooms is from just one bulb, and it keeps blooming a long time, as after the first flowers begin to fade, more come up to replace them. I’ve planted this little beauty along the front of many of my flower beds, and it is a delightful spring edging.

‘Trena’ is in the Cyclamineus group of hybrids, with flowers that nod down a little and petals that pull back behind the bloom. This planting in the bed between my sidewalk and the street has been fantastic—very early, heavy flowering, and vigorous. This is just their second spring, and they’ve already started multiplying.

‘Moonlight Sensation’ is simply the heaviest-flowering daffodil I’ve ever grown. Each bulb puts up multiple bloom stems, each one with a cluster of delicate cream blooms. The display is amazing! I love this variety’s color, but if you prefer a stronger yellow, the sister variety ‘Sunlight Sensation’ is nearly identical but in a bright, intense yellow.

To end the daffodil season, I love this very old, late-blooming variety ‘Geranium’, which has big clusters of fragrant white blooms with a strong orange center. This variety was introduced nearly 100 years ago, and it is easy to see why it is still popular today. It has so much vigor, so many flowers, and such a great color.

‘Fellows Favorite’ is my choice for a classic, yellow, large-cupped daffodil. There are countless varieties that look pretty similar to this, but it is my favorite because of the sheer vigor, profusion of blooms, and details in each flower that reward a closer look. At the base of each petal, the yellow fades to a soft cream, which seems like a small thing but to me is just the perfect final touch to a perfect bloom.

This little charmer is called ‘Chiquitita’. This is from the jonquilla group of daffodil hybrids, which have clusters of small, very fragrant flowers. They are one of the best groups for southern gardens, but a lot of the selections don’t thrive in my northern Indiana garden. This variety has been the exception. It may be the most vigorous daffodil I grow. This clump started as just five bulbs but multiplied to this in just its second spring.


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    simplesue 04/03/2024

    Your post on daffodils is exactly what I needed! I've been searching for non bright yellow varieties, and was happy to learn about Cassata and Moonlight Sensation!
    I saved your info to Pinterest!

  2. sandyprowse 04/04/2024

    I just love the Geranium Daffodil shown here. That bright orange centre screams out WELCOME SPRING! I normally try and buy all my bulbs with early blooming as I am so excited that the spring has arrived; however the Geranium variety will be a welcome addition.

  3. [email protected] 04/04/2024

    Thank you for such a bright good morning,
    Just what I needed as I am in a 30cm snowstorm this morning, in southwest quebec canada!
    Love daffodils and you have so you leave all those bulbs in the ground year round? If yes I presume you have lots of perennials around them.....

  4. btucker9675 04/04/2024

    So beautiful and cheerful!! I'm definitely getting Moonlight Sensation - gorgeous! Thanks for brightening our day!

  5. jos29803 04/04/2024

    I love yellow in the garden and the softness of these daffodils are sweet. Thanks for sharing.

  6. perenniallycrazy 04/09/2024

    Thanks for this post celebrating daffodils. I love them all.

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