Olivia Portera sent me an e-mail entitled “The Daffodil Principle.” which I was unable to open. Yet, I was so intrigued by the title that I went to Google and sure enough the following popped up.
The story originally appeared nearly ten years ago in Jaroldeen Edwards’ book Celebration!
“Every year, high in the San Bernardino mountain range of Southern California, five acres of beautiful daffodils burst into bloom. Amazingly, this special spot, known as “The Daffodil Garden,” was planted by one person, Gene Bauer, one bulb at a time, beginning in 1958.
The Willow Fire of 1999 destroyed the Bauer’s A-frame home, its surrounding shady trees and garden. Miraculously, the daffodil bulbs beneath the ground survived.”
This story has local significance for residents of Starkville, Mississippi. Two years ago, the then Mississippi State University president – NOT Malcolm Portera I must hastily add -ordered that all the daffodils on the MSU campus be dug up and destroyed. There were thousands. It was done in early spring before they had an opportunity to bloom. The community was incensed. In protest, everyone in town brought huge bunches of daffodils from their gardens to the first baseball game of the season. It was a sight to behold.
Why would this man do such a thing?! I was told it was because he didn’t like to see the dying foliage after the bloom. But that’s the natural order of life on this earth and he crossed the line.
Thankfully that man is gone now. I firmly believe the daffodils had their revenge. I drove out to campus yesterday and would you believe some of the bulbs survived this criminal scourge and are merrily blooming their little heads off. It brought a smile to my face and a lilt to my step!
The moral of this story. If you must dig up the daffodils, PLEASE give them to someone who will appreciate them. Plus, be advised that all that thinning out will only make the daffodils come back stronger. It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.