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Historical Daffodils at Old Town

The hot, humid heat of summer is well upon us and this is the time when many daffodil experts are digging up bulbs to pass along or to reduce crowding and plant elsewhere.

Since the generous donation in February of Narcissus pseudonarcissus bulbs from the City of Natchez in Mississippi to the Old Town Historic Daffodil Project, we have received two more donations and other donations are promised. The names the same bulb have in different areas of the country are endearing. In Mississippi these daffodils are called lent lilies and in Tennessee people call them buttercups.

Elizabeth Queener and her late sister Alyne Massey have donated buttercup bulbs (Narcissus pseudonarcissus) from their family’s Century Farm in Maury County, Tennessee. Sara Van Beck’s mother, Linda Van Beck, recently dug up some Texas Stars (Narcissus x intermedius) in Tallahassee, Florida and they just arrived. Linda told me the bulbs she sent had originally been rescued from old gardens in Georgia. Celia Jones of Louisiana has promised us some of her Twin Sisters (Narcissus x medioluteus) for this historic project.

Yesterday, Chris Patrick, the landscaper for Old Town since 1999 and I walked the entire frontage of Old Town along the Old Natchez Trace with his rolling wheel marking feet. We were figuring out how many bulbs we will need to cover both sides of the Trace by Old Town. Directly in front of the house by the stone wall he will be amending and tilling the soil to prepare the ground for the bulbs to be planted there in the fall. Senator Bill and Tracy Frist envision swaths of daffodils decorating both sides of the Old Natchez Trace this coming spring. In addition to pass along bulb donations we will be ordering historic daffodil bulbs to complete this planting. We are very grateful to Maureen Cromling, who lived at Old Town before the Frists, for her donation to help purchase historic bulbs. Historic daffodils are ones in gardens before 1940…the ones like Mrs. Goodpasture planted along Old Town in the 1940’s.

I have also written a narrative and submitted to The Daffodil Journal which will be published in September. Please visit again as we continue our story of history in the planting. This project is a generational gift to the future, a joy to all now

present and a grateful tribute to those in the past who have planted these harbingers of spring for all to enjoy through the ages. If you would like to contribute to the Old Town Historic Daffodil Project please contact me: Laura Turner:

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