Daffodils Across the Ridge
is a community beautification project sponsored by
the Paradise Garden Club, Inc.
Our project started in the spring of 2008. Our original goal was to plant about 3,000 daffodils at the town entrance. Our vision was, "to bring a breath of spring to the ridge after a long and dreary winter." However, as our project was taking shape in the early summer of 2008, dramatic events began to unfold in our little foothill town. A wildfire at the south side of town caused a community evacuation and about 75 homes were destroyed. As we gather for a meeting which was to have been a celebration of another successful garden tour, our hearts were heavy. Some friends and loved ones had already lost their homes. A sense of doom hung over the community. So we expanded our vision. We would alot $2,000 of our beautification funds to plant 10,000 daffodils and ask for donations to plant more. We chose the motto, "To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow" for that was the message that our community needed to face the future. Before we could start our fund raising, another series of fires threatened our town and we did not see the sun for a month. More homes were lost. It was a summer of fire, smoke and ashes. But, we pressed on with our fund raising efforts. With community support, we raised enough money to plant 60,000 daffodils.
Not satisfied with a mere 60,000 daffodil bulbs the club continued to raise funds in the fall of 2009. With additional donations from the club, individuals, business and civic groups an additional 31,000 bulbs were purchased. 2010 another 17,00 were planted and 2011 15,000 more bulbs went into the ground.
The 2012/2013 project is already underway with a $2,000 donation form the garden club.
"TO PLANT A GARDEN IS TO BELIEVE IN TOMORROW"
The Paradise Garden Club is fulfulling their vision of seeing Daffodils Across the Ridge. Every spring the community will be awash with gold, not gold from our historical mines, but gold from daffodils spread across our ridge.
We thank all of those businesses, community organizations, town and county officials and the general population who supported our cause and made this a successful project.
A beautification project sponsored by the Paradisde Garden Club
Beauty will emerge from a summer smoke, fire and ashes
more than 3,500 daffodils planted at this location
daffodils early in season
Paradise Park and Recreation District at Elliot and Skyway
Over 1,000 daffodils planted in this location. All had to be planted by hand.
For many years, before I became a permanent resident of the town of Paradise, I made several trips here each year to visit family and friends. I always felt that something was needed to bring the community together, a unifying concept that would bring hope and joy to all who passed this way. But what could be done that would enhance the beauty that the town already possessed? I was stumped! The solution eluded me.
After I became a full time resident of Paradise, I began writing a gardening column for the Paradise Post. It was during this time that the concept of a town wide gardening project began to take shape in my mind. It was a seed that was planted, but never germinated, never sprouted, and never grew.
I left Paradise for a brief time in 2002, and it was during this time that I heard of the Daffodil Project in New York City. A city wide project to plant daffodils to serve as a memorial for the tragedy of 9-11. When I returned to Paradise, I began to envision my own daffodil project as a way to bring beauty to the entire town. Still it was just a dream, maybe an impossible dream.
It was shortly after my return, that a friend, knowing what an avid gardener I was, presented me with a photo of a sign that read, “To Plant A Garden, Is To Believe in Tomorrow.” The sign was accompanied by some flowers to start a garden at my new home.
Little did I know when I was given the gift of the photo, that it would become one of my mantras to carry me through a struggle with head and neck Cancer. The sign was always there beside my bed. Even though I was so sick I could hardly move, I made every effort to get out and do something in my garden each day. Loved ones gifted me with plants to make the mantra a reality. When I was too sick to get out, a group of friends came and planted flowers in my garden. Always in my mind, I knew I would have a tomorrow, because I was planting a garden. Slowly I recovered my health and began to regain my strength. It was during this time that I saw the many daffodils planted at a business on the corner of Skyway and Elliot in Paradise. My vision began to take shape, but just a vague shape.
I began rebuilding my life, doing almost nothing but gardening. Then in January 2008, the Paradise Garden Club was in need of a chairperson for the beautification committee. So, I agreed to take on the job. Shortly after I took over the position, the daffodils I admired on the Skyway in Paradise began to bloom. In my mind, I could see them blanketing the town in a mass of yellow blooms. Still, I was hesitant to share my vision with the club members. However, in early May, I approached the club president, with my proposal to plant 3,000 daffodils in the town of Paradise as the beginning of an ongoing project that would bring warmth to the soul after a long and often dreary Paradise winter. The club president liked the idea and I presented my vision to the club. She has not only supported my idea since the beginning, she has also been my right hand during all the planning and organizing. It would have been impossible for one person to plan and put this project into motion in such a short period of time.
While my vision was in it's infancy, the town was devastated by the Humboldt Fire. Many of the club members were evacuated, and saw their friends and families lose their homes and all that was near and dear to them. When we we gathered together to share our feelings about the destruction, I brought along my sign, “To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow.” From this sign we got the motto for our project. The vision was no longer just to bring warmth to the soul after the dreary winter, it was also to bring hope for the future. If we can plant a garden of daffodils, there will be a tomorrow.
Before we were able to take any action on our revised vision, we were blanketed in smoke and ashes and saw days with no sun. The Camp Fire had burst through its boundaries and was licking at the east side of town. Once again many club members were evacuated, never knowing if they would see their beloved homes and gardens again.Thus, the scope of the vision finally took shape...”To plant daffodils across the Ridge to warm the soul after a long and dreary winter....combined with the desire to bring life back to a community suffering from a summer of fire, smoke and ashes.”
To date, my vision for 3,000 bulbs to be planted the first year has grown to over 100,000 bulbs. The club beautification committee allotted $2,000 to provide the first 10,000 bulbs and has continued to do so. The additional funding has been provided through community support.
While the vision for “Daffodils Across the Ridge is mine, I cannot take complete credit for making the concept a reality. Without the diligent efforts and undying support of the daffodil committee, the faith of the garden club members who let me be the Beautification Chairperson, and enthusiastic response of the entire community, my vision would not have had the strength to
Every Fall and winter as I take on the task of planting the many bulbs I often wonder why I am doing all this work, sometimes in the wind, rain and even snow. Sometime I even complain about the work. But with each spring comes the reward. The cheerful blooms blanket the community as a symbol of hope for all to share. The project was my dream but dreams are a thousand times better when others can share them.
Blubs planted in 2008 are in full bloom and those planted 1n 2009 are not far behind. It is exciting to see how the bulbs have naturalized in just one year. Clumps that were just one bloom last year are now sporting three and even four blooms. Many residents have joined our vision and their yards and gardens are adorned with daffodils. Within the next day or so I will have a map to show locations. Until then you will find many blooms along Skyway particularly at Skyway and Elliot and in all of the community parks. Bulbs at the Performing Arts Center are about midway....some of last years are in bloom and this years additions will be blooming in about a week or so.
Last week I made a daffodil tour and have found that the early blooming larged cupped yellow daffodils are popping up all over town. The earliest bloomers appear to be from the bulbs planted the first season. The bulbs planted this last fall are up and out of the ground but it is still a few weeks until bloom time.
The first blooms along the Skyway can be seen at the gate of the Paradise Rod and Gun Club...followed by the Paradise Sign...then the intersection of Neal and Skyway. Two triangles at the intersection of Elliott and Skyway and the intersection of Foster and Skyway are well into bloom. Terry Ashe Park, Billie Park and Aquatic park are showing a lot of color. Billie Park has some bulbs in the front area but most are planted in the the annex located off West Wagstaff. The area around the pavillion has close to 10,000 bulbs planted.
The Paradise Garden Club will be taking daonations for daffodils until October 31. If you want to be part od this years community beautification project please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 530-877-2432.
We are nearing the $6,000 total and hoping that this last week of donations will get us over the $7,000 goal.
Thanks to all who have already contriblute.
Our Club is once again setting aside beautification funds dedicated to the purchase of additional daffodils to grace our community. In addition we are starting our fund raising efforts and hope to match last years grand total of 60,000 daffodil bulbs.