Merle, Cedric and I drove to Cloverdale one fine morning in the rain to check out the homestead on 300 acreas that he knew as a boy. It was owned by Margaret Adams who died in 2000 after a long friendship of almost sixty years with Merle. As a young boy of eight years old, he began to take the daffodils she picked on her property to town and give them away. Now, the homestead is abandoned, and Merle has permission to dig and replant her “pioneer” daffodils which were planted by settlers.
We walked up the road toward the barn and house which are deteriating, with Cedric stopping to drink rainwater. Merle has permission from the heirs to pick, dig, separate and replant these pioneer planted daffodils on other properties. From collapsed chicken coops, he has constructed planter boxes for daffodils and faun lilies.
The barn has a decaying car, boars root all around the buildings, boar hunters come occasionally to hunt, and otherwise it is just going away slowly.
The torn up ground is from boar and Merle loves them for digging their holes so that he can populate them with his daffodils – gopher holes as well!
Merle is separating a clump in the photo above. This rather small, yellow trumpeted daffodil also has a small bulb. The daffodil is about 14″ tall and the photo below is of the bouquet brought to the meeting of the King and Queen of Daffodils described in a previous post.
Now this does not look very unusual to people who can distinguish a daffodil from a tulip, but this daffodil is very special. Of all the daffodils that I grow, the larger yellow trumpeted ones do not rebloom for as many years as many others, particularly the Mediterranean types, jonquills and hybrid narcissus. But this little beauty multiplies and doubles, Merle says, until the single daffodil becomes sixteen daffofils in the fourth year!
Where this settler’s or pioneer’s daffodil came from is yet to be explained. But for thise of us who have come to love the daffodil, it stands alone.
Merle was a hero twice for Cedric who cannot walk by a puddle or a pond (even after being weil hydrated in the car with his water bowl and case of bottled water). Ceddy leaned forward to get a drink from the pond, his arthritic hind legs failed to hold, and he nosed into the pond twice. Merle made a full rescue both times, and Cedric went back into his blankets a very wet dog while Merle planted the daffodils he dug up from the homestead around his dance floor beside a country road. The border of the dance floor will be six feet wide.
Look for “Dancing with Daffodils” on Facebook to see more about Merle’s activities and giving projects.