Monday, April 7, 2014


The daffodils are in full swing here in Mathews, and ordinarily this is a welcome sight for me.

My family's property was once a daffodil farm, courtesy of my paternal grandfather Gustave H. Vogel, 
who operated his business under the name of Royal Colony Farms.

I grew up expecting these cheerful flowers every spring.

My first official job besides cutting grass was picking, packing and shipping flowers for him.

He's been gone a long time, but every year his flowers return along with 
a flood of pleasant childhood memories.

This year, for reasons that make sense logically--including the fact that neither my father nor I can possibly maintain the fields which require mowing twice a year--will be the last year these fields will bring forth the cheerful yellow blossoms.

My father is leasing the land to someone who will farm it for corn and/or soybeans.

This will require tilling up the land to prepare the soil for planting.

Which means no more daffodils.

This saddens me beyond words, although I know it must happen.

I've transplanted a few, but it is backbreaking work for one person.

I would move them all if I could, but alas I cannot.

In the mean time, I am picking them as fast as possible and sharing them with coworkers and friends.

Believe it or not, I chose daffodils for today's post because I wanted to share something cheerful.

But for the first time in my life, the sight of daffodils saddens me.

a picture of him and Baby Sis picking daffodils along the fields of Waverly Lane.


Annie said...

I can understand your pain is hard when we have to move on to a different stage in life. Hard to come to terms with.
So glad you are transplanting some..that is so great. I have very little from my former garden in the big city from my transplanting last year. Very sad. It wasn't a marvelous garden, but I did enjoy most of the flowers and bulbs that would bloom through the year. I did try to bring some with me but have lost a fair few along the way, with the very warm weather.
Love and blessings as you watch the blooms this year.

Meg McCormick said...

Transplant as many as you can!! You know what? I bet even after there are other crops growing there, some hardy daffodils will find a way to "volunteer" in the rows.

Try to focus on the happy memories and the cheerful yellow, for now...

Country Girl said...

Oh my gosh! I am so surprised to hear this. It would be great to get the community together to dig up what they want so that the daffodils and the memories can be kept alive.

Anonymous said...

This is a very sad turn of events..I think the passing of a tradition and family memories are the most difficult part. I do not know whether it would be helpful to contact a "crop mob" group..they are volunteers who organize to descend on a farm to do whatever a farmer might need...and the thought of the daffodil bulbs going home with some lovely volunteers seem like some sunshine at the end of this road. The closest one I could find from my research seem to be in the Norfolk area...if not, the person named w/ the phone contact might have some creative ideas to help you get those bulbs out of the field:
XOXO to the CBW family..sadness to see the farm end...(but you will be gazing out at more green, at least..not an apartment complex or worse.)

Anonymous said...

PS Facebook :

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Thank you all, and great idea, LLC. I've spread the word as much as humanly possible around here, but time is ticking.

Perhaps worst of all is we don't know exactly when they will show up to do the work of prepping the fields. It's stressful to say the least. Hopefully we can get enough people out here to get some bulbs before it's too late.

LLC - I'll check out those links, thank you again, it means a lot that people like you even care. I've been too bogged down (this is one of a million things I'm dealing with) to think clearly, but I appreciate your innovative thinking. Muchisimas gracias!

Daryl said...

oh how sad and yet how lovely ... Kate's got a great idea .. post a notice in the lovely little shop in the courthouse

Anonymous said...

If I weren't all the way in California, I would be out there, crawling around, digging up all the bulbs I could. So very sad. I hope most of the bulbs find new homes & that there are many survivors that pop up where among the new crops.