disappointing bulbs

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As I read the messages from our friends Down Under, one thing strikes me — the number of ‘beautiful flowers but not of show bench quality’ comments.  If your efforts to produce new flowers result in this assessment, I don’t know what you do with the bulbs, but would like to encourage you not to discard/toss/turf them.  Someone else would love to have them.  And if you lived in the United States, that someone would be me.  But since you don’t, may I suggest the following:

1.  Keith Kridler gives instructional programs at his local plant societies, and in schools.  He sometimes hands out bags of daffodil bulbs for the students to plant around the school for blooming next year.
2.  I participate in an annual race to raise money to fight breast cancer, and my sponsors receive my surplus or misnamed daffodil bulbs as part of my ‘thank you.’  This year one  of my regular sponsors selected the bulbs he wants!   [See www.womens4miler.com
3.  Our local Hospice House has asked for bulbs for families of their patients.  It’s a nice, easy-care way for them to remember their loved ones every Spring.
4.  I’ve sent bulbs with sympathy notes, with house warming packages, to newlyweds, and as part of a hostess gift.
They may not produce show quality flowers, but someone will love them, and you’ll be spreading ‘yellow fever.’

Vicky Eicher


1 comment for “disappointing bulbs

  1. Hello Vicky and Daffnetters,


    I was waiting for John who made the original comment, or another Kiwi, or perhaps one of the Californian Honorary Kiwis to reply to Vicky’s comments.  Let me start be reassuring everyone that the only bulbs that find their way into dumpsters in my part of the world are diseased.  Our Club goes out of its way to find homes for surplus bulbs and succeeds!


    Here is a brief account of what we do


    1. For many years we have encouraged local bodies or city councils or voluntary groups (eg hospice) to ask us for bulbs.  As I drive around our district I see the results of these efforts.  The first two pics are bulbs bordering State Highway 1 near Cambridge.  These bulbs were planted as part of their Centenary Celebrations but there were several prior plantings at some of the scenic areas nearby.  The third pic is of one of the many plantings in Centennial Drive Matamata.  This Drive is maintained by a group of  dedicated volunteer locals.  Most of the plantings there are my discarded seedlings – there have been occasions when I have wondered why I have discarded them as they look lovely in their new home!  We have also organized plantings in local parks, in the hospital grounds and elsewhere.
    2. We also run a schools project here.  There are two parts to the project – the first part is called the Country Schools Daffodil Challenge.  Exhibition bulbs are supplied to the schools and club members are assigned to mentor the children and show them how to grow and show daffodils.  The Challenge culminates with a daffodil show – the club provides prizes and a Senior National judge makes the decision.  The enthusiasm of the children is wonderful – and some of them plus parents plus one teacher have joined our Club!  Pictures of the small plantings of exhibition bulbs appear in the next E Mail.  You can see the trouble the children and their teachers go to. For more details of this project go to our website www.daffodil.org.nz.  The second part is to help with daffodil plantings around the School grounds.
    3. One of our local Rotary Clubs runs an Annual Daffodil Show for their members.  The prizes are bulbs supplied by one of our members who also does the judging.
    4. Another School in Morrinsville this year planted 1,000 bulbs.  Club members plus helpers from the Morrinsville Horticultural Society helped the children plant the bulbs.  There is a picture of a group of the children with their favourite blooms attached.
    5. We also supply flowers to Hospice on Daffodil Day to sell as a fundraiser and as well have supplied bulbs to the local hospital to be planted near the Lions Cancer Hostel.  There is a new Hospice under construction in our City and I am sure bulbs will go their too.
    6. Two years ago our Patron, Les Cleveland, who resides in Dunedin, asked growers to send surplus bulbs to him so that they could be planted out in the City in readiness for the World Convention there in 2012.  Many growers have responded to this request – Les, through his Foundation pays for the freight!


    These are only the projects in our district or others that I know about.  I am aware that there are others  in other parts of NZ doing what we do.  We love our bulbs too much to see them go to the dump.


    Thank you, Vicky, for your helpful suggestions.  I am sure the above will reassure you that we have most of them in hand but are always looking for new ideas.


    Which leads me to say – come on y’all to NZ for the Convention in 2012 and see what we do!






    PS Other pics follow so that I don’t exceed the limit  Peter


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