Nantucket Daffodil Festival April 26 through 28

Although the daffodil is the flower for March, we are going to look forward to daffodil season way up north in Nantucket later this month. Just as a long-delayed kiss is the sweetest,  waiting so long for the end of winter makes the appearance of those bright yellow flowers at the end of April such a joyous occasion.

Somehow the weather always cooperates, and there are picnics, parades, Morris dancers, and more ways to display daffodils than anyone could think possible. Of course, you can put daffodils on hats, and on lapels. You can put them on cars. You can make a collar out of daffodils and put that on your dog. You can have serious daffodil judging. Very serious daffodil judging.

This is the 45th annual sanctioned daffodil show in Nantucket, and the Nantucket Garden Club has issued a 26-page list of rules and categories for judging, including the 100-point scale for container-grown plants (including 5 points for “pose” and 10 for “floriferousness”) and a staggering number of divisions. One example: Division 7 – Jonquilla or Apodanthus Daffodil Cultivars Two or more florets, D701, Yellow perianth, yellow cup.

There is another category that divides daffodils historically: Standard daffodil, 1850-1879, for instance, or Standard daffodil, 1920-1929. For each of those, there are two categories: single stem, and three stem. I once dated a man who grew daffodils competitively. Perhaps I am ranting a bit too much here.

Outside the halls of daffodil judging, the general population makes daffodil bibs for their babies and hangs chains of daffodils on their bicycles. People dress up in costumes and, in general, celebrate the beginning of the tourist season.

Daffodils can be worked into so many fanciful creations, after a while you begin to long for some iris. (You will find those too.)

There are ghost walks, mansion tours, children’s parades, dog parades, hat parades, antique car parades and lots of opportunities to eat. It is a happy occasion all around.

There are many earlier daffodil festivals. (See our Calendar of events for a listing of some.) But this one is a corker, beginning with the Flower Power Party on Friday night sponsored by the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce, and a chance to go to Nantucket! – Linda Lee