The "oohs and ahs" and great photos are guaranteed. Hundreds of thousands of daffodils carpeting over 15 acres of woodland are a blooming bonanza each spring for visitors to Laurel Ridge Farm, an unspoiled oasis in Northfield, a village in the township of Litchfeild, in Connecticut's Litchfield Hills. The wild natural landscape of gently sloping woodland, fields and aged stonewalls overlooks a small lake dotted with two tiny islands. The land and one of the islands is completely covered with gold and white blossoms, a glorious welcome to the season for about four weeks, usually beginning by mid-April. The property is private but is opened to the public free in April and May thanks to the generosity of one family.
The story began in 1941 when Remy and Virginia Morosani moved to the Northfield section of Litchfield to begin what became known as Laurel Ridge Farm. The pasture across the road from their home was too rocky to support crops, but they were taken with the rugged beauty. In the fall of 1941, they planted 10,000 daffodil bulbs in the rocky valley bottom. Daffodil bulbs multiply themselves, often doubling. It takes hard work to separate the extra bulbs and replant them in the fall, but the Morosanis persevered, digging and replanting each year from the mid-1940s to the 1960s, expanding the original two acres to fifteen. By that time the fantastic annual display was attracting visitors. In the mid-1960's, the couple formed the Laurel Ridge Foundation, a private foundation, to preserve the daffodils. The Foundation is managed and supported by Remy and Virginia Morosani's descendants.
Visitors are welcome to walk on the paths and take photographs on the property on Wigwam Road, off Rt. 254 in April and May. The grounds are open from sunrise to sunset. Strollers are allowed, but picnics and pets are not permitted. Visitors are asked to park carefully so as not to block traffic on Wigwam Road. Parking is not permitted on the property. For more information, see litchfielddaffodils.com
For more information on the daffodils and other spring gardens nearby and a free copy of UNWIND, a 112-page color guide to lodging, dining and all the attractions in the Litchfield Hills, contact the Western Connecticut Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, (860) 567-4506, or visit their web site at www.litchfieldhills.com.