As much as I love the pale, ethereal, fragrant Poeticus narcissus, like the 'Angel Eyes' at left, lately I've been planting more and more early-blooming, bright colored daffodils, like 'Serola'(below).
The orange cups and pure golden petals heat up the garden on gray drizzly mornings, or afternoons when the sunshine is too thin yet to warm your bones as you dig in the dirt.
'Serola', like all narcissus, are poisonous, so squirrels, bunnies and other critters don't bother them. Plant them in a sunny location with good drainage and they bloom consistently and dependably every spring.
'Serola' opens it sturdy flowers pretty much on the equinox every year, right when we most need color in the garden and such a tangible, joyful reminder that spring is really here. And they even have a faint sweet, earthy fragrance, more noticeable when you cut them and bring them into a warm room.
The table runner is from West Elm, the beeswax artichoke candle from Whole Foods, and the 'Serola' daffodils picked fresh from my Whidbey Island garden this morning.