The Daffodil Garden Principle
We parked in a small lot adjoining a little stone church. From our vantage point at the top of the mountain, we could see beyond us, in the mist, the crests of the San Bernardino hills, they seemed like dark, humped backs of a herd of elephants. Far below us the fog-shrouded valleys, hills, and flatlands which stretched away into the desert.
On the far side of the church, I saw a pine-needle-covered path, with towering evergreens, manzanita bushes and an inconspicuous sign, “Daffodil Garden.”
We each took a child’s hand, and I followed Carolyn, my friend, down the path as it wound through the trees. The hills sloped away from the side of the path in irregular dips, folds, and valleys, like a billowing skirt.
Live oaks, mountain laurel & sage bushes clustered in the folds, blanketed by the misty air.
We turned a corner on the path, and I looked outward.
Before us lay the most glorious sight, unexpectedly and completely splendid. It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it down over the mountain peak and slopes where it had run into every crevice and over every rise. Even in the mist-filled air, the mountainside was radiant, clothed in massive drifts and waterfalls of daffodils. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns, great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, saffron, and butter yellow.
Each different-colored variety. I learned later that there were more than thirty-five varieties of daffodils in the vast display. It was planted as a group so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hues.
In the center of this dazzling display of gold, a great cascade of purple grape hyacinth flowed down like a waterfall of blossoms framed in its own rock-lined basins. There were several resting stations, paved with stone and furnished with Victorian wooden benches and great tubs of coral and carmine tulips. As though this were not magnificence enough, Mother Nature had to add her own grace note — above the daffodils, a flock of bluebirds flitted and darted, flashing their brilliant sapphire color with breasts of magenta red. As they dance in the air, they were like jewels above the glowing daffodils.
The brilliance of the daffodils was like the glow of the brightest sunlit day.
Five acres of flowers stood before us! I asked Carolyn, "who has done this?” I was overflowing with gratitude that she had brought me here, even against my resistance. This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“Who?” I asked again, almost speechless with wonder, “And how, and why, and when?”
“It’s just one woman,” Carolyn answered. “She lives on the property. That’s her home.” Carolyn pointed to a well-kept A-frame house that looked small and modest in the midst of all that glory.
We walked up to the house, my mind buzzing with questions. On the patio, we saw a poster.
"Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking”.
The first answer was a simple one. “50,000 bulbs”. The second answer was, “One at a time, by one woman, two hands, two feet, and a little brain.”
The third answer was, “Began in 1958.”
There it was. The Daffodil Garden Principle.