George Dorner, Illinois

Daffodils in South Carolina

March 10, 2009
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Categories: Bulb Information, Daffodil Types, Growing Daffodils, Historics

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 I had two interesting references to daffodils in SC this week.

One friend and his family are at Hilton Head. Ross sent the following, slightly edited, and several photos. I attach just the one of his wife and one of the flowers.
Ross said:
“Attached are pictures from a visit that Fran and I made to a daffodil field — pick-your-own at 20 cents a stem in Bluffton, SC, near Hilton Head Island.  There are three fields this size or bigger that are now protected nature preserves so they cannot be commercially picked or farmed.  But they can permit people to come in and pick for themselves.  There were quite a few families with kids from age 3 to about 10 the day we were there.

The bulbs were originally planted about 40 years ago and commercially farmed until it was subjected to a change of status (I don’t know why). So now, they do not do anything to the fields except cutting down the weeds with a bushwhacker machine and a controlled burn in late fall or January.  They do not plant new bulbs, or separate them (as is pretty obvious).  And they are all the same type.  The land has been owned by the same family since the 1800s!!”

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One of my tennis buddies has a place not far from there and I learned that he and his wife also picked daffodils in a large field last week. Bill related that the fields had been owned by the owner of a short line railroad who had a 99 year contract to deliver coal and could afford to leave the fields alone.
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So I Googled “daffodils in South Carolina” and got from the Beaufort Gazette:

Free daffodil picking Sunday (last of February)

John and Fred Trask are inviting the Beaufort community to pick flowers for free Sunday.

The daffodil picking will take place from noon to 4 p.m. at Kane Island Daffodil Farms. The farm will also be open the public next Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.

Their parents, John and Flora Trask, used to open the fields to the Beaufort community at the end of each commercial picking season.

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Later someone added this to that article:
Today, Sunday, March 1, 2009 is St. David’s Day. He is the Patron saint of Wales, UK. The daffodil is the National Flower of Wales.

It is fitting that they are offered free to the public on this day. Lots of Welsh people settled in South Carolina early on – so long ago that they may not even know of their Welsh heritage.

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I also found a very nice photo website: http://hankinslawrenceimages.wordpress.com/2008/03/20/happy-spring-time-for-daffodils/
The “Daffodils in the Snow” is quite nice, even with the snow damage,
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There’s lots more, but the dates didn’t seem recent.
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We have 17 members in SC. Perhaps one can step forward and enlighten us on how related these stories are.

George Dorner
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