Garden Photo of the Day

Rites of Spring

Celebrating the season at a public sculpture garden

Erika Shank shared these images from LongHouse Reserve in East Hampton, New York. LongHouse is a private garden and art collection that is transitioning into a public garden and museum. After a long, cold, tedious winter, spring has finally arrived, and they celebrated the season with their first spring open day, called Rites of Spring! Thousands of blooming daffodils as well as other spring bloomers intermixed with beautiful sculptures made for a delightful experience. A Buckminster Fuller dome rising from a sea of daffodils. The soft, naturalistic sweets of spring bulbs form a perfect counterpoint to the strict geometric regularity of the sculpture. Thousands of daffodils all in bloom. Pulling off a display like this is not just a matter of planting a lot of daffodils; the key is choosing varieties that will bloom at the same time. If you mix too many early and late blooming varieties together, you wind up with one type in flower while others are in bud and still others have already faded. Limiting a planting to all early or all late bloomers creates the most intense display when they all come into bloom at once. The long view showing the sheer extent of the daffodil display. Nothing satisfies quite like over-the-top excess! Narcissus ‘Thalia’, combined with a late blooming pink-flowered daffodil (possibly ‘Salome’) form a perfect pairing. These two varieties have different forms and a complementary color scheme, and they are blooming exactly the same time for a top-notch display worth recreating in your own garden.It isn’t all daffodils. A large weeping flowering cherry (Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula’, Zones 4–8) frames the view with soft pink flowers just beginning to open. The cherry is shown off all the more effectively for being placed with a mostly green background, demonstrating how restraint can sometimes work just as nicely in the garden as excess.


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    treasuresmom 05/14/2018

    Daffodils - my favorite spring bulb! Long gone down here in zone 8b.

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 05/14/2018

    What a divine and dazzling display of daffodils...definitely deserving of delight. Whew, ok, enough with the daffodil inspired words that begin with "d". I'd love to know what comes next in these beds...perennials? a stupendous selection of annuals? Anybody know?

  3. cheryl_c 05/14/2018

    Wonderful pictures, with very helpful commentary. Our daffodils just finished last week here in 6A, and now there are peonies, nepeta, roses, achillea, coreopsis, with the sages about to make their first entrance - let the show begin!

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