Cars passing Warren Kapsner's front yard often slow down or even stop to admire the view, the way people check out spectacular holiday light displays in December.
Also spectacular and by day almost as bright, Kapsner's Golden Valley lawn is covered with vivid spans of yellow and white daffodils — 2,500 of them.
"The daffodil is just the ideal flower," said Kapsner, 74. "One of the nicest things about them is [unlike tulips] the deer don't like 'em and the squirrels don't like 'em and the rabbits don't like 'em."
Kapsner began creating the panoramic display in fall 2019, when he buried about 800 daffodil bulbs. This past fall, he planted another 1,700. Daffodils are perennials, so this spring they all popped up together.
Daffodils don't just return annually, but multiply over time, so one bulb can produce more than one flower the following year. In Kapsner's backyard are daffodils he planted more than 30 years ago, whose bulbs can now produce clumps of five or six blossoms.
"That's what this is going to turn into eventually," he said. "It'll just be a sea of flowers."
He estimates that planting the bulbs took him about 50 hours over a couple weeks. Every night after work and another few hours on weekends, he'd poke holes in the ground with an electric drill and an auger, pop in the bulbs — mostly yellow flowers, with white blossoms sprinkled in randomly — and push the soil back over them.
When the daffodils die off for the year, lilies of the valley, wild geraniums and hostas will spring up in their place.
"All summer this thing will look spectacular," he said.
Though covered with decorative plants — mostly low-maintenance perennials but also some annuals — Kapsner's lawn contains enough ordinary grass to provide a nice contrast for the blossoms. But he's not a big fan of grass.
"Grass is useless — those manicured green lawns are totally useless," he said.
Kapsner has been gardening since he moved into his house at 130 Edgewood Av. S. 40 years ago ("I grew up on a farm, and this is easier than a farm," he said). He started with "10 little hosta plants" that have multiplied so much that over the years he has given away thousands of them.
When Kapsner went over to meet a new neighbor and found the man working in his yard, he recommended hostas.
"I said, 'I think you need about 350.' He just looked at me," Kapsner said. "Every day I'd take over about 50 of them. By the time he got them all them planted I think he hated to see me."
In his own yard, Kapsner is not done with daffodils.
"On the other side I think I have room, so this fall I'm planning on about 1,500 back there," he said. "In a couple of years, you're talking 10,000. I know the neighbors really appreciate it."
Katy Read • 612-673-4583