Sunday, December 14, 2014

Enriching our Community with Daffodils

On December 07, 2014 the second installation for MODOT’s Growing Together project took place just outside the community of Gerald, MO where approximately 2,500 daffodil bulbs were planted along the highway’s right-of-way.

The daffodil bulbs were donated by Dr. John and Sandy Reed of Oakwood Daffodils of Niles, MI.   Sponsors and support came from the Gasconade County Master Gardeners, the Greater St. Louis Daffodil Society, and Gerald’s Boy Scouts’ Master, John Colombo, and three Scouts from his troop.

In total, eighteen energetic volunteers planted the bulbs on a gloomy, cloudy day, only visited by the sun briefly, but the mood of the group was bright.

The Greater St. Louis Daffodil Society’s by-laws require community outreach, and this project provided a perfect opportunity.  The Gasconade Master Gardeners, too, have a yearly requirement for community outreach; those attending were able to earn some quality service hours for their effort.

The long-range goal is to fully plant the right-of-way to greet travelers with drifts of spring-flowering daffodils as they enter the community of Gerald.

Initially, the daffodil flowering will appear sparse, but as the bulbs settle in they will greatly increase.

The growth habit of daffodils requires a delayed mowing of this area, to enable the daffodil’s leaves to fully mature; by doing so, the bulbs will produce enough energy to form the next season’s flowers.  Mowing should be delayed until after June 25 of each year.

Be sure to visit the site next spring, to see all of the color, and each spring thereafter.

By Cindy Haeffner, President, Greater Saint Louis Daffodil Society
Member of Gasconade County Master Gardeners