Appalachia Seasons Wildflowers & Trees Of Appalachia

The Hope of Daffodils

Daffodils blooming in field

Over the last week and a half I’ve noticed daffodils blooming throughout Brasstown. Here on the north side of the mountain mine are up and budded but not bloomed.

Daffodils are one of the cheeriest harbingers of spring of the year.

Every year I wonder about the daffodil blooms I see in fields or wooded area, in other words flowers blooming in the middle of nowhere yet sending out a strong and mighty signal that someone once lived there.

I once read an article that stated the first settlers of the northeast brought daffodil bulbs with them to the new world. Women sewed the bulbs into the hems of their dresses in an effort to bring a little piece of hope and beauty to the future that awaited them.

Daffodils peak out on the road leading to my home. I know they were planted by my mamaw or perhaps her mother. The flowers have outlasted them both.

Farther down the road a bank showcases a shower of yellow blooms. Pap told me my great Aunt Dude and Uncle Ot once lived in a tiny house that set there.

Further still a massive amount of daffodils bloom inside a cow pasture. Pap said when he was a boy there was a store there, but as long as I can remember only cattle have frequented the spot.

I’m obviously not alone in believing daffodils are harbingers of spring. The ladies who thought enough of of the blooms to sew the bulbs into their dresses clearly knew the power of hope and renewal that occurs each spring.

Last night’s video: Beef Stew & Taters with Slaw and Cornbread – One of Our Favorite Meals in Appalachia.

Tipper

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    Patty Hansen
    March 4, 2022 at 2:46 pm

    You all are soooo lucky. Here in CNY we have to wait until May to get daffodils – sometimes end of April if it has been a warmer type spring. Winters are cold. long, & hard in my neighborhood and I actually look for the crocuses first! There are a couple that bloom every spring down in a ditch. My beloved great aunt tossed the bulbs across the road with lawn clippings, I guess. She has been passed for 10 years and new people own her house. But I can see “her” flowers when I go walking. I have also found them in our homestead’s dump way out in the woods and other random places. I think they get disturbed when folks are doing yard work and tossed away on accident. This could explain some popping up in random places? Lots of lovely poems about daffodils; Wordsworth’s “Daffodils” comes to mind….”Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance….I gazed — and gazed — but little thought what wealth the show to me had brought;….My heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils.” Read the whole poem, if you love these golden beauties and reflect on the many types of wealth that the Good Lord showers us with each season!

  • Reply
    Sue Ritchie
    March 3, 2022 at 10:15 pm

    Tipper what is a good fertilizer to put on a flower bed ? This ground needs something. Thanks

  • Reply
    David Hilton
    March 2, 2022 at 6:17 pm

    Lee Smith said it best: daffodils remember when the people are all gone…”

  • Reply
    Melinda
    March 2, 2022 at 2:50 pm

    Yea! For Daffodils!!! As you wrote, Tipper, they ‘speak’ of Hope & are harbingers of new beginnings – Spring Really is here! ( even if we still have to put up with some cold, frosty or even icy mornings.)

    At our family Homeplace, settled by our ancestors in the 1800’s, they bloomed first in a low spot in the pasture below the wood house.. I wonder how they got started there?

    Here in SW Ohio they are budding Next will be Tulips

  • Reply
    Jackie
    March 2, 2022 at 1:13 pm

    My wife brought a bouquet of them in Monday. There are several clumps scattered around the yard and in the edge of the woods here that are just budding. She gathered hers from a flower bed.

  • Reply
    harry adams
    March 2, 2022 at 12:53 pm

    I just came back from SC and brought 2 types Jonquils and Butter n Eggs back from my grand parents old farm land. I already had the daffodils from there. The house is long gone. My brother and I guess the flowers to be well over 100 years and possibly 150. Daffodils never forget.

  • Reply
    Christine
    March 2, 2022 at 11:44 am

    That was a interesting story about the women sewing the bulbs in their dress hems to bring beauty and hope to their new land. That’s a beautiful part of history that isn’t taught in schools. Thank you for sharing it with us!

  • Reply
    Larry Paul Eddings
    March 2, 2022 at 11:13 am

    Daffodils always bring joy to my heart early in the spring. Those brave little soldiers can’t wait to get out of the ground.

  • Reply
    Patricia Wilson
    March 2, 2022 at 10:16 am

    We buried my mother on one of the coldest St. Patrick’s Days I can remember. It was a sunny day with a brilliant blue sky, but we were glad of the tent set up by the funeral home to shield us from the cold north wind. As we drove the forty or so miles from where we were staying to the small country cemetery where several generations of family are buried, the hills were dotted with clumps of blooming daffodils. Sometimes there was a crumbling stone or brick chimney nearby; more often there was nothing else to indicate that these flowers marked the location of someone’s home. My mother had spent forty-four of her eighty years “exiled” in Texas. Somehow I felt that day like the daffodils were welcoming her back to her beloved Kentucky home. Yes, only her earthly remains are there, but it made my heart happy to lay them to rest where she wanted. Last night I was reading an account of the Boone and Bryan families’ journey through the mountains to Kentucky. I had not known that a couple of the young adult sons of both families died in an Indian ambush and were buried there. I imagined how hard it must have been for the families to leave their loved ones there in lonely wilderness graves to move ahead to make their new homes. I am so very glad that in these modern times, most can take loved ones to be buried where they wished.

  • Reply
    Melissa P. (Misplaced Southerner)
    March 2, 2022 at 9:54 am

    I have always loved daffodils. I know their showier cousins (the tulips) are more revered by many, but I love the simple beauty of the yellow, nodding heads of daffodils. Here in Michigan, I’m beginning to just see the tips of the daffodil leaves start to peak through the snow. Crocus and hyacinth are trying to do the same. Our yellow bells haven’t even started to bloom so you know how far behind we are up here. We are hoping to move back south as far as my home state of Kentucky in the next couple of years. I can hardly wait. Maybe then my flowers and plants will be closer in step with y’all’s. Maybe, too, I can finally have my garden!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    March 2, 2022 at 9:31 am

    Seems daffodils (we called them “Easter lilies”) never disappear once started. And thankfully deer don’t eat them which is one of the reasons why they can last. About this time every year when I was growing up Mom would want to take a flower hunting trip to old home places, mostly on national forest. We brought back Easter lilies several times I guess but always yellow ones and as best I recall only one form. I was probably a teenager before I even realized there were other colors as well as other shapes and sizes. They do indeed say, ‘Spring is here!’ with their smiling yellow faces. But on February 10, 2020 I took some pictures of them covered in snow. Didn’t seem to hurt them though.

  • Reply
    PinnacleCreek
    March 2, 2022 at 9:31 am

    What a great story, Tipper. A few years back I decided to take a day trip and drive up the holler that once was heavily populated with a coal camp community called Mcdowell. There are places we move from, but being a sentimental slob, I sometimes leave a piece of my heart behind. There remained a light scattering of homes that had been bought from the coal company back in the 1950’s when coal was definitely king in that holler. As I drove up through McDowell, I crossed an old bridge. I viewed the remnants of what was once Weyborne Coal Company where my dad had worked after discharge from service. There was slate still visible where the tipple had stood. I was assailed by sweet memories of my first puppy, Christmas past, and my young parents.
    I remembered the Birds. the Johnson’s, and all the names of the families who had long ago moved away. I sometimes only knew where they moved to when I would read the obits in the newspaper through the years. I had played for hours with their children, and we had captured fireflies all along what once was a dirt road. The coal mine owners had kept some of the dust down with something called red dog, but now the old road was hard topped. Just when nobody needed it, the state had put a nice hard top on the old road. I took pictures, and many had those daffodils out in what had been the yard. The houses mostly long gone, but those beautiful daffodils had remained through the passing of time. They showed that a family had once lived there, and I remembered their family names. One lone tall chimney stood like a sentinel watching over the patches of daffodils. I know that ole holler will never be used for apartment buildings or any progress, as it is in an area that may not thrive for another 100 years. I wonder just how many years those flowers will stand, and even more I wonder if I am the only one who cares about what once was. I wish I could have dug a few of the bulbs to bring along home as a reminder in case I am unable to make the trip again.

  • Reply
    Shirl
    March 2, 2022 at 9:16 am

    To me, seeing a daffodil means spring is here. There’s a farm across my lane that becomes a beautiful blanket of yellow every spring. Research shows the huge building was an orphanage before becoming Kentucky’s first African American college where both groups worked for their room and board. I often wonder if some young person was assigned the job of planting daffodils so many years ago.

  • Reply
    Sharon Cole
    March 2, 2022 at 9:05 am

    Makes me smile when I see the first blooms! Take care and God bless

  • Reply
    Margie G
    March 2, 2022 at 8:19 am

    Daffodils are a most wonderful and happy little flower! I do see the stems peeking up here and I’m excited about spring. I have heard it will be an early spring this year from several “reliable” sources. I find the idea enticing and I’m clinging on to that. I can almost see the ladies from the past looking at their daffodils in their yards and feeling the joy of the new growing season and new farm animals too. As I get older I’m into the tiny thrills of life like daffodils. I must share I saw the biggest spread of pink crocus I’ve ever seen in a field down the street. I had to just stop and look and look some more. It was divine inspiration looking upon that pink field of lovely!!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    March 2, 2022 at 7:56 am

    They are very comforting to announce spring after a long cold winter

  • Reply
    donna sue
    March 2, 2022 at 7:34 am

    I love the thought of the women sewing the daffodil bulbs into their hems to bring them to their new home! I think flowers are God’s most beautiful creation – I enjoy them all!

    Donna. : )

  • Reply
    Mint2Bee
    March 2, 2022 at 7:26 am

    Daffodils are up here in my yard (in the Piedmont, NC) but only have buds on them. Also noticed a hyacinth coming up yesterday. Some trees are starting to bud out too. Spring is on the way – my favorite time of year.

  • Reply
    Kathy Gautier
    March 2, 2022 at 7:12 am

    Tipper, Just this morning driving to work I was enjoying the daffodils and also marveling at the bare spots and ditch banks filled with blooms from white to yellow to almost orange on some. Around here they have been blooming for a little over a week and they are so beautiful. I always look forward to them cause spring will soon be here. I love reading your stories and especially the memories they bring to my mind. Have a wonderful day!

  • Reply
    Martha Justice
    March 2, 2022 at 7:00 am

    Love all the spring flowers

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 2, 2022 at 6:55 am

    Tipper, I love the daffodils and I’ve been noticing them like you are. They are the hope of spring! Every year they come, and I know that spring will come…every year! For many years I just knew them as the spring flowers without realizing that wherever they are there used to be a home place. So, now they bring hope of spring and remembrance of past as well.

  • Reply
    Narlene
    March 2, 2022 at 6:42 am

    Daffodils are the only Spring bulb I can grow in my yard. I love flowers of all kinds but Daffodils are special because they signal Spring and are so easy to grow. Their roots are poisonous to voles and other critters that eat bulbs.

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