daffodils

A fly on a City Hall wall hears a conversation in mid-2019...

“I’ve ordered them already, guys!”

“Huh? What did you order?”

“The bulbs! Just two thousand of them!”

“Wait. What?”

A couple of thousand holes later, the Sutter Creek Public Works (SCPW) crew fell in love with their golden creation. So much so that five times that total in daffodils ended up in the ground. And you, dear reader, enjoyed the results during this first sunny season.

Sutter Creek City Manager Amy Gedney is notably proud of how “her crew” operates vis-à-vis with and for the community. Through complaints and compliments, they work hard to do right by their people. And now, Gedney urges the public to participate with her crew in what is conjured to be an annual planting of ten thousand yellow daffodils.

“We hope our local PTAs, scouts, social clubs, businesses, churches, and families participate. Our crew will pick the plots and folks can put on their muck boots, grab a trowel, borrow our planting template, and get into our rich soil to replace the gold that out ancestors dug out,” Gedney persuasively states. “Kids especially will remember where they planted ‘their’ bulb, and return each year to see how many more flowers it produces. It will keep them coming back home as they get older.”

Jon Campbell, current president of the Native Sons of the Golden West Parlor #17 in Sutter Creek, helped find the city a good source of well packaged, high viability bulbs at a good price. In turn, the city invited Sheryl Harmston and others from the Native Daughters of the Golden West Amapola Parlor #338 to dig in daffs at the “Gateway” entry to Sutter Creek (near Robert Dalton’s truck shop). Knowing they might sprinkle some California poppy seeds was a welcome surprise, which looks great considering the landscape there is topped with stately matilija poppies. 

Gedney envisions the project symbolizing the connections not only between the members of the city, but also the connectivity between the cities of the county. Using a term from England, the “towpaths” or walkways around creeks, can be reimagined with blooms, like the secret spots behind Minnie Provis Park. Conceiving of a longer stretch, patches of daffodils in the sunlight reaching all the way to Amador City would be gorgeous. The (old and new) Golden Chain Highway 49 could horticulturally live up to its name. With some golden poppies sprinkled in too, of course.

New daffodils have been springing up in many of our towns. Flowering in Fiddletown, shining on the Spinetta Ranch and Steiner Road, pushing up in Plymouth, Amador City looks so pretty, and Jackson’s jump up at the Vista Point. Likely, many plantings are inspired by Sheriff Martin Ryan’s family legacy, and these will last lifetimes because they are so easy to maintain.

Living bouquets could grow near the vintners’ arrow sign posts, near city limits markers, street corners, and more. The possibilities are only limited to open ground.

What if this ends up in an annual friendly competition between the towns? Mayors and City Managers, will you get ready and set for a pretty city challenge? Let’s see who can plant the most...

End note: This writer’s favorite patch of daffodils were those on the steep slope heading out of Sutter Creek, but now the chosen site is the famous John Sutter Book Sign across from the Miner’s Bend planting.  Special thanks again to SCPW and the public for adding golden color to the land when the sun lacks luster in winter.