Henry Shejbal, Italy


January 24, 2010

Category: Daffodil Enthusiasts

Download PDF



Unfortunately I have never had the possibility to attend a show in the US. But I have a lot of experience with helping people to understand a bit about daffodils, since during the daffodil shows in my garden I guide the visitors and  make them see  while they are looking. It makes my spring days brighter when they tell me how fascinating it has been for them observe the flowers and how much they appreciated also the information on classification, diversity, history and botany.


However, here I just want to tell you how important two people were to me, when I was a beginner. They both helped me by giving me the basic information.


I started collecting daffodils in the 1980s. So in summer 1981 I went to Holland with my family and visited Matthew Zandbergen. The old gentleman was very kind to me. He told me a lot and from a spark in my mind he lit the fire. I still cherrish the book “Miniature Daffodils” by Alec Gray which he gave me as a gift with his dedication. He told me about the ADS and urged me to become a member.


Then I made a business trip to San Francisco and from there I phoned Mrs. Mary Lou Gripshover who lived in California at that time. She immediately came to town to meet this new member. It was marvellous to talk to her and understand the passion glowing in her heart. After meeting with her I was contaminated for ever.


These people were really decisive for me as a beginner and I am now proud to be an ADS member for life.


  Henry (Rome)

One response to “beginners”

  1. Donna Dietsch says:
    Exactly what I meant.  Those who started us on our love of daffodils are the ones we fondly remember.  I did not meet Matthew Zandbergen at the beginning of my interest.  However, I did meet him the last time he made the journey to the US.  With him were his wife and daughter, Suzy, and her two beautiful daughters.  I do cherish that meeting.  I felt so privileged to have conversations with one of the men who started the Dutch bulb industry.
    My regret is that there are not enough of these spirited people to draw in more members.  Our membership, while still healthy, has been dwindling over the last few years.  I meant that we do have to make a more concerted effort to draw in new people and more of us have to do it.