Each spring, a friend of mine reminds me to visit the Ironstone Vineyards in Murphys, California. She mentioned daffodils growing everywhere, so I thought about the vineyard grounds being covered with them.
This year, I finally asked Mister Jack for a day with the daffodils. I picked the Sunday before St. Patrick’s Day, and it was a very wise choice because the Northern California Daffodil Convention was taking place that same weekend. The convention, the Nineteenth Mother Lode Show, is sponsored by the Northern California Daffodil Society and Calaveras Garden Club. Each year, Ironstone Vineyards hosts this event.
The lovely drive (mostly country roads for this farm girl) from Sacramento to the historic Gold Rush town in Calaveras County took less than three hours, and it had to be one of the easiest ways for us to escape from the daily demands of our urban life. As we approached the vineyards, we saw millions of naturalized daffodils in bloom. Ironstone Vineyards is also a designated American Daffodil Display Garden.
To my surprise, there were daffodils and tulips everywhere. They were planted in the ground as part of the landscape. And for the convention, the flowering bulbs were planted in wine barrels. Each barrel is carefully labeled to identify the daffodils or tulips, so jotting down your favorite blooms becomes a helpful reminder when it comes to placing your order in the coming months.
I was so delighted with my surroundings. All these beautiful flowers on a bright California spring day, and all I needed to do was get my camera out and take photographs. I noticed that a lot of people felt the same way. If they weren’t snapping away or taking their time shooting close-ups of the flowers, they were posing their children and other family members in front of the gorgeous blooms.
Although my gardening focus is on roses, this event has inspired me to plant daffodils and tulips around my home this coming fall. These photographs are only a few of the flowers on display that instantly caught my eye. There were so many daffodils and tulips to admire and photograph, but I didn’t get around to appreciating all of them. I would have loved to take most of them home with me. If you ever attend one of these shows, make plans to spend the whole day surrounded by their beauty.
The Northern California Daffodil Society website has a schedule of its meetings, shows and conventions. It also contains facts about daffodils and helpful gardening tips for naturalizing daffodils or planting them in your garden and in pots. If you want to order bulbs, there is a contact list for daffodil growers. If you plan to visit Murphys next March, check the Ironstone Vineyards’ website for the convention.