When the name Wye Mountain is mentioned in my home town, daffodils are the first things to come to mind. Every spring thousands of daffodils bloom in fields around a little stone church on Wye Mountain about 30 miles northwest of Little Rock, Arkansas. This annual event has become a festival of sorts. Daffodil lovers come to the spot to see the flowers and buy bundles for a dollar from the church's parishioners. The proceeds go towards the minister's salary. There's never a set date or any publicity, people just seem to know when the time is right.
When I was a child we would pile into the family station wagon and make the drive to Wye Mountain - usually after a meal of fried chicken or something equally delicious, but not so good for you.
Back then you could pick your own daffodils. It was always a competition to see who could pick the most, which probably explains why picking your own is no longer an option!
The trip home was the best part of the day. After all the sunshine and running around we were exhausted. We'd ride in silence with the warm spring air blowing through the open windows and the fragrance of daffodils filling the car. There was a feeling of well being that is hard to duplicate as an adult.
I suppose I had Wye Mountain in mind when I designed the daffodil hill at the Garden Home Retreat. Over the past three years we've planted about 50,000 bulbs and this spring the blooms are just spectacular.
I decided that I wanted to share my miniature version of Wye Mountain with others, so I invited a group of children from two local schools to the Garden Home Retreat to cut daffodils and sell the bundles on their campuses to raise money for their schools.
What a day! We had a great time and I had the opportunity to explain how subjects such as geography, science and art all connect back to the garden. The kids sold all of their daffodils so they were able to make some money too!
On my way back to town I rolled down the windows and for a moment captured the feeling of coming home from Wye Mountain. I hope the kids felt this way as well.