Old Washington

Every spring Washington Arkansas holds a daffodil festival to celebrate these harbingers of spring.  Allen speaks with Parker Westbrook about how so many daffodils came to be planted in this Southern town.

It's always exciting to me when I see those first signs of spring like the earliest daffodils pushing forth their smiling faces, defying winter's hold on the garden.

You know, we as Americans have always had a love and appreciation for flowers ever since the beginning when this country was settled. Despite rigorous hard work, often from sun up to sun down, settlers always seemed to find time to plant beautiful flowers like the daffodil.

Allen: How long have daffodils been a part of Washington?

Parker Westbrook, Board Member, Pioneer Washington, Washington Arkansas: Gosh, for time immemorial in Washington, Arkansas the jonquils have been here. Apparently the people who came from the middle eastern states brought flowers, plants, trees with them from the homes that they had known in Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina. So I think what we are seeing is an outgrowth of all of the wonderful things that they brought with them and that they have virtually just gone wild all over the city of Washington. We have tried to take care of them, show them to people, and enjoy them with our visitors here in Washington.

We have people like Parker to thank for not only preserving the architecture of a place like this but its historic plants as well.

Daffodils have such a simply beauty and they are so resilient they'll come back year after year and if you plant some of these heirloom varieties you can actually have an example of living history growing in your own garden.