By Leora McTall, Master Gardener
March is here and so are daffodils – at least they are pushing up their green tips of foliage as if to ask “is it time?” Our answer to this question is “yes, and hurry,” but Mother Nature is in charge, and her time schedule is her own. We do know that very soon we will ENJOY this simple, beautiful harbinger of spring.
The enjoyment of daffodils begins on cold, blustery days when we peer out our windows looking for just one little yellow flower in the brown winter landscape. Then as they all begin to bloom, we are so thrilled that spring is finally here. We may take a walk or drive around our neighborhoods, then through the towns and countryside just to see and ENJOY this modest little flower.
Now, let’s take our daffodil enjoyment one step further. This year the World Daffodil Convention is being held in St. Louis in April. This convention is held every four years world-wide, and in the U. S. every 16 years. So it is quite a privilege for the public to be able to attend the Daffodil Show at this convention which is so close by.
Hundreds of named daffodils will be lined up on show tables, sorted into categories, and then the best of the best are awarded ribbons by the judges. After the judging, we may view these flowers and take notes of our favorites. It is fun to then try to find a source to purchase these special varieties. Sometimes it isn’t easy as several will have been hybridized in foreign countries and are not very plentiful on the market. But the main reason we go to a show is to ENJOY!
Daffodil Show Schedule: Sheraton Westport Chalet Hotel, 191 Westport Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63146: Public is invited. Admission is Free: Thursday, April 7 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Friday, April 8 10 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.; Saturday, April 9 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Another way to ENJOY daffodils this season is to participate in the Daffodil Dash at the Shaw Nature Reserve at Gray Summit, Mo. (about 90 miles away). It is a 5K Trail Run on April 9. No clock – no winners. It is a run for the spectacular view of thousands of daffodils blooming around Pinetum Lake. Registration is required, and the proceeds will benefit Shaw Nature Reserve.
For non-runners, the Reserve is open from 7:00 a.m. to sunset for a leisurely walk through the daffodils and maybe a picnic lunch.
Have you heard of the Daffodil Principle? It is a beautiful, true story of a woman who planted daffodils on a hillside, one at a time year after year, resulting in a magnificent display of yellow daffodils every spring. It portrays a life lesson, “start today, one step at a time, to change your world.”
So, some of us have a passion for daffodils that drives us crazily along, and some may only give a glance to a precious little daffodil flower, but one thing we can all do, (as our daffodil friend, Ernie, advises) is ENJOY!
How To Enjoy Dafodils