Daffodil blooms like facing the sun

Every spring the daffodils I first planted on this property open their first, much awaited, sunny-yellow blossoms facing the sun. This would not be an issue except that my from-the-inside view also faces the sun, and that makes this a gardening oops – GOOPs for short.

Welcome to the first of the month, the day I share one of the many gardening miss-steps I’ve made or witnessed in my almost 40 years of gardening. This month’s GOOPs actually happens every spring in my gardens. Way back, when I planted the very first batches of daffodil bulbs on this property, I had a vision of looking out of my office window each spring to be greeted by bunches of bright yellow daffodils.

I didn’t consider the orientation of the sun at the time. Nor did I consider that daffodil flowers tend to face the sun which, in my chosen planting site would mean they would turn their backs on me.

Here’s the situation …

daffs open toward sun

And here is my view in real life. The blossoms always open facing away from my office vantage point.


Ignore the rest of the mess in this bed. When I grabbed this photo I had not yet cut back the grasses or cleaned up the winter-blown leaves. Just look at those first opening blossoms. They are all facing east and south.

Since these first bulbs went into the ground 15 years ago, I’ve planted many more in beds on either side of the front yard, in front and behind the house, and along the driveway. They bloom in progression from April into May. Not all of them open with their blossoms facing the sun. Many open facing all directions.

But the first groups of daffodils I planted so many years ago do the same thing every spring.


Those on the left face east. Those toward the back face south. Those on the right face southwest. Only a few blossoms face north or northeast, the direction of my from-the-inside view.

To be able to enjoy the unique aspects of each blossom I have to walk outside – not a bad thing – or pick the flowers for an indoor bouquet – not a bad thing either.

Any guesses as to which blossoms get picked first?

Yep, those turning their back on me. One way or another these daffodils are going to show me their faces. If not in their outside display, then they’ll show off in a vase in plain view from my office.

Head to this American Daffodil Society explanation about daffodils and similar bulbs, and how best to plant them … it’s quite informative.

Do you have a GOOPs to share? You can divulge your tale of woe or humor in a comment below, or write a GOOPs post on your own blog. Just leave a teaser comment below so readers will visit your post.

Don’t be shy … anyone can join. After all, if you’re not making mistakes in the garden you are not gardening hard enough.

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8 comments for “Daffodil blooms like facing the sun

  1. May 1, 2013 at 7:05 am

    I never would have thought about the flower’s orientation when planting it! I do love your low stone wall with the rising garden backed by woods. Now if the daffodils would just cooperate and turn around to face you . . .

    My oops is on my blog today, and it involves not just a dead plant, but my hubris in bragging about it.

    • May 1, 2013 at 7:21 am

      Laurrie, It’s good to hear that another well-read gardener would not have thought of orientation when planting daffodils … I had not until I actually witnessed the daffs opening toward the sun. The garden in the photo is one in transition. It was a shade garden until we removed some trees. Now I’m replanting with shrubs and small trees, and adding sun loving perennials to enjoy while the shrubs and trees grow larger.

      Thanks, again, for joining the GOOPs game on the first of each month.

  2. May 1, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    I had no idea daffodils followed the sun like that. The only flowers I’ve ever heard of doing this are sunflowers. Good to know for future reference though as I have a big flower bed right outside my bay window – specifically planted so I could look at flowers from the comfort of inside.

    I’ve posted an oops this month too, my trials and tribulations of trying not to kill my seedlings

    • May 1, 2013 at 8:49 pm

      Marguerite, so glad you learned about daffodils facing the sun before planting them outside your bay window. Thanks for joining in on GOOPs day.

  3. May 2, 2013 at 2:47 am

    Very interesting post Joene. I love the idea of your GOOPS and would love to join in the fun. We are a day ahead of you here in the UK as it is now 2nd May, but I’m sure that won’t matter in the grand scheme of things ! My problem will be choosing from all the many and varied GOOPS over the years !
    My blog is at

    • May 2, 2013 at 11:48 am

      Jane, I’m so glad you want to join in the GOOPs fun. Welcome!

  4. May 2, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Hey, Joene, good point on orientation. Alas, it disappeared as a factor in my garden, as the daffodils started disappearing when my rhododendrons began shading them out. Ironically, the daffs were downhill travelers from next door anyway. In my next garden, I’ll have intentional ones and be sure they see the light.

    • May 2, 2013 at 11:53 am

      Lee, I’m sure your next garden will be as unique and interesting as the one you are leaving … and you’ll get to enjoy daffodils.

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