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Daffodil Hill, Calif.

A festive floral display blooms in the Sierra foothills.

Daffodil Hill, near Volcano, Calif., image
Photo caption
400,000 daffodils bloom in March and April in this California garden.


"To me, it’s just a piece of heaven," says Mary Ryan, 84, a scion of Lizzie and Arthur McLaughlin, who in 1887 bought a wooded slope near the Sierra foothill town of Volcano, Calif., and took up planting daffodils. The cheery flowers, introduced there by a Dutch homesteader, captivated Lizzie, who spread them throughout her garden.

After she died, her children kept cultivating the flowers in her memory. Now, five generations later, the six-acre clearing harbors an estimated 400,000 daffodil bulbs—some 300 varieties in all, including golden King Alfred and creamy Mount Hood.

The bulbs typically bloom from mid-March to mid-April (call for exact dates). An old blacksmith shop doubles as a snack shop. Admission to the garden is free; find it on Rams Horn Grade off Pine Grove–Volcano Road, three miles north of Volcano, Calif. (209) 296-7048.

Photography by Robert Holmes


This article was first published in March 2007. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.