Loyce McKenzie, Mississippi

Don’t trash the daffodils!

March 20, 2008
By

Category: Planting

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You might have missed these recent  headlines out of the Deep South, overshadowed (and rightly so) by news of horrendous weather.
But daffodils, or disregard for the needs thereof, seemingly helped to bring down a college president.
Doc Fogelsong, two-year president of Mississippi State University, had survived public outrage over his “secret” hiring by the College Board, anger from alumni who wanted “one of their own” in office, and faculty discontent at being ignored by a “military man.”
But it took student protests, widespread and utilizing Facebook and other public outlets, to move Fogelsong to announce his retirement, because “I have done all of the things I had planned to do at MSU when I came.”
First, it was the Architecture students, who were told to remove some innovative projects Fogelsong considered “messy” from a very public display case before prominent visitors arrived on campus.
Then he ordered the maintenance crew to dig up all the daffodil bulbs in major planting beds and destroy them.  When the students hit the headlines, this was hastily changed to “They have been dug and stored for replanting next year.”  This in early February!!!
I just wish we could recruit some of these vocal protestors for CMDS–and to use their influence in getting daffodils planted in a more appropriate naturalistic manner next time, rather than the spotty English railroad station landscaping manner more appropriate for tulips or hyacinths.

Loyce McKenzie
Madison, MS

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