Great-grandmother Amanda's Daffodils

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Stan Pope
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Great-grandmother Amanda's Daffodils

Post by Stan Pope » Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:05 pm

Way over there I mentioned planting daffodils from my great-grandmother's flower garden. Well, I got rained out by a late afternoon shower, but I got the bed turned and as many of the crocus and tulip bulbs as I could find gathered for replanting.

A little more prep work (and searching for the bulbs I know are in that bed) and I should be able to finish the job tomorrow.

The daffodils in question come from great-grandmother Amanda Worthington Shy of Pike County, Mo. I don't know when she actually tended them, but a time span of 1880-1924 is a given. The time is likely in the years after her marriage, ca. 1898. They have grown and divided in two or three locations since being gathered from her garden. They recently came to my possession and I diviided the bag of bulbs among my three children, along with the history document that my brother prepared, and I retained a few dozen bulbs for myself.

I don't know why I think this is important enough to pass on to you ... maybe it is just creeping senility. Or incipient sentimentality? Who knows? At any rate, perhaps next spring great-grandmother Amanda's garden will spring to life once again.

For those who know that story, be assured that Great Aunt Millie is totally unrelated to Amanda, and that I am sure that Amanda's daffodils flourished due to her skill and not her creative use of fertilizer.


Stan
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FatSebastian
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Re: Great-grandmother Amanda's Daffodils

Post by FatSebastian » Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:23 pm

Thanks for posting. One doesn't often think of daffodil bulbs as heirlooms.

A lot of the folks involved in PWD appreciate it for sentimental and/or historical reasons. I think your posting has an interested audience here. That you felt led to share it here perhaps says something about DT too.



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Re: Great-grandmother Amanda's Daffodils

Post by Stan Pope » Sat Nov 13, 2010 8:53 pm

The effort that my brother put into documenting their history does push those paperwhite narcissis (daffodil) bulbs toward a status of heirlooms. :)

Update:

I think that I stuffed about as many bulbs into the beds as they will support, but I still have bulbs left over. But I don't think I'll do much more planting this fall. My feet are sore, my back is sore and my hands are sore. Those pains derive mostly from working a shovel and fork to break up the well packed beds to a depth of about 7 inches. The "fun" was enhanced by the contribution by a neaby tree of many tough roots, up to about 1/2" diameter. I nearly filled a 32 gal container with such detrius. At the end, I was able to push my gloved hand straight into the dirt and pull it aside to deposit a bulb at the proper depth! Then move a few inches to back fill and dive into the dirt again. Felt good! In fact, it felt great!

The planting / replanting was finished about 2 pm Friday, barely in time to scrub off a lot of dirt and drive over to Champaign, IL, to see a Grandson's school program. Grandson participated in the drama and jazz band portions of the program. Most of the middle school age participants in the drama projected and enunciated sufficiently well that we doting parents and grandparents could understand what was being said. The coach for that extracirricular activity deserves a special pat on the back! Too often, such performances leave onlookers scratching their heads, wondering what the charade was supposed to mean.

I was counting on a promised serious rain last night to help get the ground settled around the bulbs, but it seems that the weatherman didn't score a direct hit for us ... a few sprinkles at most ... so I'll need to go out and give 'em a good drenching with a soaker hose... and then quickly drain the hose and put it back in storage before the next hard freeze. I did see a few patches of what I thought was wet pavement on the 80 mile (each way) trip so I shouln't bad mouth the weatherman too badly.

During the replanting, I moved two volunteer evergreens, one well started and one barely a seedling, to new locations to help the visual balance of the area and protect the mailbox.


Stan
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*5 J's*
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Re: Great-grandmother Amanda's Daffodils

Post by *5 J's* » Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:34 pm

Thanks for the post Stan. Just when I thougth I had read all the material on you site - you point out a great read on Aunt Millie.

I spent my weekend painting my kiddies clubhouse last year - I feel comfortable assuming that was the last weekend for painting until next spring for me here in Maine.



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Re: Great-grandmother Amanda's Daffodils

Post by Stan Pope » Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:02 pm

*5 J's* wrote: Aunt Millie.
The "Great Aunt Millie" thread was a "spur of the moment" response to what I thought was a silly idea about how to score participation in the Seti-at-home project. Through several posts spread over several days, I fleshed out the character along the plot line of "Ar-se-nic and Old Lace" including posts or pm's on the quiet disposition of some local personages who became a bit too curious. (The "evidence" was buried under newly planted rose bushes.) But I backed off those posts.

I'm not an accomplished story teller, but I have fun trying once in a while. (I'm reminded of an inquiry from a professor with an interest in bells asking for details about the Ogalwa tribe ... see The Legend of the Bell. Somewhat abashed, I admitted to total fabrication.)
*5 J's* wrote:I spent my weekend painting my kiddies clubhouse last year - I feel comfortable assuming that was the last weekend for painting until next spring for me here in Maine.
Brrrrrrrrr!!!!!

I'm still trying to convince myself to build a "temporary observatory" shelter for my scope, camera and computer so that I can enjoy some wintertime astrophotography. (So many things to see! So cold outdoors in the middle of the night!) I can't do a permanent observatory shelter because it would exceed the number of permitted outbuildings. :(


Stan
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