Despite this week's late-winter onslaught, Daffodil Hill expects to open on time for another spring gold rush.
A magnet for flower lovers of all ages, the famous McLaughlin Ranch in Volcano plans to open its gates for a 72nd daffodil season at 10 a.m. Friday. After that, the garden will be open to the public seven days a week, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., weather permitting.
But call before driving the two hours from Sacramento. For safety reasons, the garden is closed during rainy weather due to slippery paths.
Considered the No. 1 tourist destination in Amador County, Daffodil Hill features about a half million blooms in more than 300 varieties squeezed into six acres. The Ryan family, descendents of the original owners dating back to the 1800s, add thousands of bulbs each fall.
The Ryans schedule opening day when about a quarter of the bulbs are ready to bloom. The display continues into mid-April, although extreme heat or cold can shut down this unique flower show early.
Admission and parking are free, but donations are welcome. No pets are allowed.
Located about 50 miles from Sacramento, Daffodil Hill is at 18310 Rams Horn Grade, Volcano. Call (209) 296-7048 for daily updates. For directions and more, click on www.amadorcountychamber.com and follow the links to Daffodil Hill under "Historic Attractions."
Another daffodil mecca will definitely be open this weekend, rain or shine. Ironstone Vineyards in Murphys will host the 17th Annual Mother Lode Daffodil Show, sponsored by the Northern California Daffodil Society.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday - St. Patrick's Day - with a shuttle bus to downtown Murphys' Irish Day activities. Hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free.
The winery also has its own massive daffodil display with about a half million bulbs planted on its grounds.