A Day Trip To Daffyness
By Lisa Green
Photos courtesy of Allison Stafford.
A spring tradition in Litchfield County has been delayed and the blame rests solely on Mother Nature, but even she can’t shut down the happy-making spread of daffodils at Laurel Ridge Narcissus Plantings on Wigwam Road in Northfield. First planted in 1941 by farmers Remy and Virginia Morosani, the small daffodil collection — put there because the rocky part of their property wasn’t suitable for a hay field — grew from the initial 10,000 daffodils on two acres to the now 15 acres of dafs spread out over verdant paths, a scenic overlook and a pond.
When the plantings began to attract visitors, the owners created the private Laurel Ridge Foundation, now managed and supported by their son, John Morosani. He owns the adjoining Laurel Ridge Farm, which raises cows for grass fed beef.
“The show is really spectacular,” says Allison Stafford of Naugatuck, CT, who has visited the gardens every year since 1994, and was even inspired to create a Facebook page dedicated to the site. “Besides the beauty of the daffodils, there’s a nice walk down to the water, which always has ducks or a swan or two.” (In past years she’s spied a flock of Canadian geese nested there.) The pond even has an island filled, of course, with more narcissus.
Typically, the daffodil pageant runs from early April through the middle of May, but so far there’s only about 10 percent in bloom, Morosani says. “We expect the full yellow daffodils to be out by the first week of May. “
Which gives those yearning for a spring outing time to plan a visit.
“It’s a great photo opp for families,” attests Stafford. Artists go there to work en plein air, others navigate the hill or take the stone staircase to the pond. A busy Sunday during the height of the season might bring up to 500 people staggered throughout the day, Morosani says. Picnicking is not allowed, but visitors are encouraged to take photos and submit their images to the website.
“It’s just fun to park along the roadside, stroll the beautiful path and look at the cows on the upper field,” says Stafford. “And it’s a great photo opp for families.”
As long as you keep the kids off the dafs, please.
Laurel Ridge Narcissus Plantings
164 Wigwam Road, Northfield, CT
Open from sunrise to sunset during the daffodil season.