The Case of the Mysterious Daffodil

This spring I was favored with an unusual and mysterious event I call: The Case of the Mysterious Daffodil.

I have spent much of my life planting seeds and bulbs, bringing home potted plants (because they reached out and asked to come home with me), and hauling watering cans and leaky hoses from one expiring plant to another. I huddle over pans of potting soil waiting for that first intrepid sprout of green, and am filled with joy as the first petunia ruffles out of its bud. So as the saying goes, I’ve been there, done that and got the T-Shirt. Every pair of jeans I’ve ever had went into the trash-bin caked with mud, stickers, burrs and out at the knees.

You’d think that I would have some acquaintance with the world of gardening and plants that not much would surprise me. But something happened this spring that I can’t understand: after years of struggling with my beach-sand top soil with a few successes and many failures, I was completely flummoxed by a daffodil.

Several years back I planted several daffodil bulbs along the edge of my front porch. Ordinarily as we all know, daffodils are a tough and persistent race and greet spring with a joyful jangle of golden bells.

But not these. They disappeared without a trace. I blamed the gophers of which we have many and my front porch hunched there, flowerless and drab.

Then, this spring, about four feet out from the front porch in what we call the front lawn, but is actually a flourishing community of mostly weeds and a little Bermuda Grass—three foreign leaves sprouted up. And Up. They got taller and taller. Three slender green spears that plainly did not fit in with the community of weeds.

Then a bud appeared.

It looked like—a daffodil bud.


Then—it bloomed.

And there it stood throughout our dry, dull spring—one yellow flag of victory, reminding us that the one thing we shall never completely understand—is nature.

No matter how hard we work, how careful our studies, the one thing you can count on as a gardener is—being surprised!

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