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The Daffodil Principle

Updated on February 6, 2015

Daffodils, the Flower of Hope!

Winter is here, and even if her full fury hasn't hit your part of the country yet, there's a good chance you're already tired of the season of short days. Even with much of the season still ahead of us, many are already looking forward to the days when the daffodils begin to show their lovely little heads. Those beautiful yellow blossoms that remind us winter is almost over are a delightful treat for those of us in the North. It's a shame they live for such a very short time.

Sometimes winter seems like it never ends, but just when you think the icy cold will last forever, a daffodil will pop up her little head and give you hope. Daffodils bring hope, just like Spring. When this season comes, we see hope all around, hope of new things, hope of warmer weather. For children it often brings hope of Summer vacation. Whatever the reason, these little fairy cups bring hope.It's always amazed me that these flowers with the shortest bloom life of any other flower seem to be as popular as any year round garden beauty. It doesn't matter which month of the year, daffodils are a favorite flower. Who would have thought that a blossom with such a limited lifespan would be so popular. I think it's because of the promise it holds. These flowers begin to appear even before the snow is gone. They cause those of us who live in the colder regions of the United States to gain hope that the bleakness of winter will indeed end. When the bright yellow and white of these annuals peak out from under the snow or dead leaves, we know that Spring is coming and the short, cold days and long, dark nights will soon be gone.

I wonder if it's this hope that inspired a garden in Running Hills, California in the San Bernadino Mountains. It seems as though it's a five acre garden with a modest house in the middle of it and a garden that holds all the promise of Spring! But, I don't want to tell you too much lest I spoil the story. So, read on and enjoy!

Photos courtesy of

The Daffodil Principle

From "Celebration" by Jaroldeen Asplund Edwards

Several times my daughter, Julie, had telephoned to say, "Mom, you must come see the daffodils before they are over." I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from my place by the beach to her lakeside mountain home."I will come next Tuesday," I promised, a little reluctantly, on her third call. The next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and so I got in the car and began the long, tedious drive.When I finally walked into Julie's house and hugged and greeted my grandchildren, I said, "Forget the daffodils, Julie! The road is invisible in the clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and the children that I want to see bad enough to drive another inch!"

My daughter smiled calmly, "We drive in this all the time, Mom.""Well, you won't get me back on the road until it clears and then I'm heading straight for home!" I said, rather emphatically."Gee, Mom, I was hoping you'd take me over to the garage to pick up my car," Julie said with a forlorn look in her eyes."How far will we have to drive?"

Smiling she answered, "Just a few blocks, I'll drive ... I'm used to this."After several minutes on the cold, foggy road, I had to ask "Where are we going? This isn't the way to the garage!""We're going to the garage the long way," Julie smiled, "by way of the daffodils.""Julie," I said sternly, "please turn around.""It's all right, Mom, I promise, you will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience."After about twenty minutes we turned onto a small gravel road and I saw a small church. On the far side of the church I saw a hand-lettered sign ..."Daffodil Garden"

We got out of the car and each took a child's hand, and I followed Julie down the path. As we turned a corner of the path, and I looked up and gasped.

Before me lay the most glorious sight. It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it down over the mountain peak and slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns, great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, saffron, and butter yellow. Each different-colored variety was planted as a group so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue.

The Daffodil Principle - The Book - Get Your Own Copy of this Story

Five acres of the most beautiful flowers I had ever seen!

"Who planted all these?" I asked Julie."It's just one woman," Julie answered, "She lives on the property. That's her home," and she pointed to a well-kept A-frame house that looked small and modest in the midst of all that glory.

We walked up to the house and on the little patio we saw a poster ...
Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking

  • 50,000 bulbs
  • one at a time
  • by one woman
  • 2 hands, 2 feet
  • and very little brain
  • Began in 1958

There it was ... "The Daffodil Principle"

For me that moment was a life-changing experience. I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than thirty-five years before, had begun - one bulb at a time - to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountain top.Still, this unknown, old woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. She had created something of magnificent beauty, and inspiration.The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration:learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time, (often just one baby-step at a time) learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time.

When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world.

"It makes me sad in a way," I admitted to Julie, "What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty-five years ago and had worked away at it 'one bulb at a time' through all those years. Just think what I might have been able to achieve!"

My daughter summed up the message of the day in her direct way, "Start tomorrow, Mom," she said, "It's so pointless to think of the lost hours of our yesterdays. The way to make learning a lesson a celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask ... ""How can I put this to use today?"~~~Jaroldeen Asplund Edwards, Author

Photos Courtesy of MorgueFile

The Daffodil Principle on YouTube

The Rest of the Story

As if that wasn't enough, listen to this miraculous ending!

In 1999 a California wildfire destroyed 64,000 acres of national forest including the Bauer's modest home and the five acres of land occupied by the daffodils. In the Spring of 2000 the daffodils brought hope again to the Bauers as they built their new home. Under the charred forest, the bulbs were saved.Within 4 years, a second fire has destroyed the land around the Bauer's home again. Some of the flowers were lost in this blaze.

Prior to 2009, the garden was open for three weeks each year. Visitors were invited to take the one hour self-guided tour of the daffodil garden each spring. Sadly, I've discovered in my online research of this beautiful labor of love, that 2009 was the Garden's last public appearance for visitors. I regret that I didn't have the opportunity to see it at least this last year. Fortunately, despite the fact the garden is no longer open to the public, we can still learn a tremendous lesson from this labor of love. There is always hope . . . One Bulb at a Time . . . You can Make a Difference!

© 2009 Lynne Modranski

Looking forward to hearing from you! - Have you seen the Daffodil Garden?

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    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 2 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Oh wow, what a joy to read about the DAffodil Principle Our town is celebrating its 225th birthday this year and we have planted over 14,000 bulbs all over town. I can't wait to share this story. Thanks

    • profile image

      GrammieOlivia 3 years ago

      This story caught my eyes a while ago and I have started the same thing, but with grape hyacinths, they multiply by themselves and put on a really nice show. But I love daffodils too! Think I'll move this over to the Weekend Gardeners FB page, just for inspiration! Come join us there if you like!

    • profile image

      Aunt-Mollie 4 years ago

      Amazing story with brilliant message. Since spring is the time of renewal, the connection you make is perfect. Enjoyed!

    • profile image

      Ibidii 4 years ago

      I just read in the comments by Celticep who says daffodils are the national emblem! No wonder I love daffodils so much. I have a Welsh line on my Grandfather's side. Awesome lens rlmodranski! :D

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      What a touching story.

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      I have seen Daffodil Garden! Have you seen cherry blossoms? :)

    • Celticep profile image

      Celticep 4 years ago

      Wonderful story! Being Welsh, I love Daffodils, our national emblem and such a hardy flower they never fail to bloom gloriously! thanks for sharing

    • ShariBerry profile image

      Sharon Berry 4 years ago from Michigan

      The woman that planted the mountainside should be an inspiration to us all...we can all do something for the glory of God, one step at a time. What a rich lesson.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Wonderful lens, really enjoyed it. Thanks

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 5 years ago

      Such a beautiful flower and lens, thank you!! :)

    • kimark421 profile image

      kimark421 5 years ago

      Fantastic lens! I really enjoyed it. Thanks!

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 5 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Congrats on your Purple Star. What a beautiful and heartwarming story.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Daffodils are my favourite flowers! Thanks for putting this lens together.

    • Harshitha LM profile image

      Harshitha LM 6 years ago

      loved the daffodil principle. Beautiful

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      May we always go "by way of the daffodils" in life! What sweet inspiration you have here and thank you for sharing the view in the video. Congratulations on the beautiful purple star shining over your daffodils.

    • JenaleeMortensen profile image

      JenaleeMortensen 6 years ago

      I had heard of the Daffodil Garden, though I haven't had the privilege to see it. What a wonderful inspiration to just try to do something toward a goal even if it is small. Eventually it may make a huge difference.

    • profile image

      GrowWear 6 years ago

      Have not seen the Daffodil Garden, but would love to. My daffodils came from my mother's yard many miles away. A continuity and a renewal of hope come springtime. Ms. Bauer has the "bloom where you're planted" motivational saying down pat. Just beautiful.

    • Amy Fricano profile image

      Amy Fricano 6 years ago from WNY

      Purple looks great on yellow! Congrats.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      What a great story, and congrats on the purple star! Well deserved.

    • joanv334 profile image

      joanv334 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing!

    • WritingforYourW profile image

      WritingforYourW 6 years ago

      Such a good lesson that in that story. :)

    • vanidiana24 profile image

      vanidiana24 7 years ago

      A beautiful story and very inspiring! Thanks for sharing!

    • AuthorNormaBudden profile image

      AuthorNormaBudden 7 years ago

      Congrats on your purple star. Your lens has been featured at feel free to submit any other purple star lenses you have, if you would also like those featured in my series. Thanks!

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 7 years ago from Australia

      What a beautiful lens and what great advice. No use lamenting over the past. Start today!

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 7 years ago from Vermont

      Daffodils are my most cherished spring flower. I plant them every year and look forward to seeing them burst forth before most of the other flowers and plants. This year we had crocus and daffodils emerge and bloom on the first day of Spring. I would love to have seen this beautiful garden. It rivals the beauty of the growing fields in Holland. Thank you for sharing this story.

    • The-Java-Gal profile image

      The-Java-Gal 7 years ago

      I read this story years back. It was great to read again. Sad it is no longer open. I love daffodils. Great lens.

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 7 years ago

      I have not seen the Garden. I have a few bulbs in my yard, though. It was in November that my husband and I bought our home. When the warm temperatures began in the spring, every day was like a birthday! A new flower began its journey into the world after sleeping the winter away. What a gift to the new homeowner!

    • profile image

      copley_gena 7 years ago

      Beautiful story.

    • mamakat lm profile image

      mamakat lm 7 years ago

      As somebody else mentioned, this one comes around every year or two in the email. Very inspiring and beautiful story. I had never heard 'the rest of the story.' So sad! Thank you for posting this.5stars from me!

    • auntjenny lm profile image

      auntjenny lm 7 years ago

      I have daffodils blooming in my yard right now. Love this perennial but luckily the moles don't so the just keep reproducing year after year! Great story, thanks for sharing that!

    • profile image

      BarbaraCasey 7 years ago

      This lovely story makes its way around the email universe from time to time... usually when you need to hear it most! Thanks for posting it here.

    • profile image

      youanddave 7 years ago

      totally inspiring and awesome lens--thanks for sharing--gotta go plant and water!! XO

    • modz profile image

      modz 7 years ago

      Good lens. I like it :)

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 7 years ago from United States

      This is truly a beautiful story of inspiration! Congratulations on Lens of the Day!

    • wayfarer lm profile image

      wayfarer lm 7 years ago

      Daffodils are my favorite spring flower. There's a park by us that has a whole hillside planted in daffodils. It's an amazing spring sight.

    • Lynne-Modranski profile image

      Lynne Modranski 7 years ago from Ohio

      @Frantilly: Thanks so much for your encouragement! And for visiting!!!

    • profile image

      Frantilly 7 years ago

      I don't know what was more refreshing, the lens, the message or those beautiful daffodils!

    • VSP profile image

      VSP 7 years ago

      Thanks for sharing, I love daffodils. Great message too.

    • Lynne-Modranski profile image

      Lynne Modranski 7 years ago from Ohio

      Thank you so much!! I'm touched by all the wonderful comments!

    • sheriangell profile image

      sheriangell 7 years ago

      I read this story a while back and it touched me deeply. You did a great job here! Well deserved LofD

    • profile image

      Mart903 7 years ago

      Lovely roses, indeed. Congratulations on this great lens of the Day!

    • greenerme profile image

      greenerme 7 years ago

      Beautiful lens! Congratulations on LOTD!

    • JenOfChicago LM profile image

      JenOfChicago LM 7 years ago

      What a great lesson! Congrats on LOTD too!

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 7 years ago

      I love the sentiment of this lens. Congratulations on LOTD.

    • profile image

      farmallguy 7 years ago

      What a wonderful prelude to spring

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 7 years ago from Concord VA

      How beautiful! I love daffodils! We had a field full of daffodils when I was a kid at home, and it was so pretty...but not near as large as this. Thanks for sharing! Congratulations on LotD!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I wish I had known about the Daffodil Garden when I was in CA. Beautiful. I did see the tulip garden in the Olympic Mountains in WA. Beautiful story and blessed by this SquidAngel.

    • journey103 profile image

      journey103 7 years ago from USA

      What an awesome concept, broken down beautifully. I agree that our greatest asset is time and what we can ultimately do with ours that makes a difference. 5 STARS!!

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 7 years ago

      Simple story but very inspiring. I like this so much. 5*Congratulations on LOTD.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 7 years ago

      Congratulations of LOTD.5* and lensrolled to Signs of SpringLizzy

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 7 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      What an incredible story! Thanks for sharing it and congratulations on LOTD!

    • mazbond profile image

      mazbond 7 years ago

      Great lens and a lovely and inspiring story, thanks for sharing!

    • Lynne-Modranski profile image

      Lynne Modranski 7 years ago from Ohio

      I was so excited to see all of your messages in my inbox today! Thanks so much to everyone for your kind words, visits and blessings!!!

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 7 years ago

      Great job on this lens! I've heard the story before. The youtube was great. 5 Stars.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 7 years ago from San Francisco

      Perfect. Perfection. Thank you so much. Don't you love how one woman's gift becomes another's and yet another's? Thank you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Can't wait for my daffodils to pop thru !! Congrats on LOTD!

    • Louise0711 profile image

      Louise0711 7 years ago

      I love this story! Its very inspiring and just what I needed to hear. Well done on lens of the day and thanks for sharing.

    • RaintreeAnnie profile image

      RaintreeAnnie 7 years ago from UK

      What a lovely story! I love daffodils and I like The Daffodil Principle very much. Congratulations on LOTD :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! - Kathy

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Congratulations on LOTD!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Congrats on your lotd :) I remember reading this story & the excerpt you supplied!

    • purplelady profile image

      purplelady 7 years ago

      I have always loved daffodils and now I love them even more. When we lived in Nebraska, I planted daffodils in our back yard (harbingers of spring I used to call them); now I live in California and I have no daffodils in my yard. What's wrong with this picture! I will correct that. Thank you so much for such a lovely lens and the story of the daffodil principle; very deserving of the LOTD.Congratulations.

    • eclecticeducati1 profile image

      eclecticeducati1 7 years ago

      Congratulations on your LOTD! :) What a wonderful story and lens. Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • emmaklarkins profile image

      emmaklarkins 7 years ago

      A beautiful story, I love daffodils! And congrats!

    • Grasmere Sue profile image

      Sue Dixon 7 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      Lovely story- congratulations on LOTD

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 7 years ago

      Wow! I love that story. Inspiring! Blessing this lens!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 7 years ago

      What a beautiful story. Our 96-year-old neighbor's daffodils just came into bloom last week and this reminds me of her. She has stories about each tree planted on her property, including a gigantic peach tree she started from a pit and a 20-ft loquat tree she started from a tree in our yard, long before I was born. Congratulations on LOTD.

    • stacy mcdaniel profile image

      stacy mcdaniel 7 years ago

      What a beautiful lens. Congratulations on lens of the day.

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 7 years ago from USA

      Congrats on a well deserved LotD!

    • GoodBug profile image

      GoodBug 7 years ago

      Inspirational lens. I thank you for sharing this story.

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 7 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      Totally love this lens, and the idea it represents. 5***** well deserved and congrats on LOTD!

    • profile image

      Leanne Chesser 7 years ago

      This is a beautiful, simple lens with an important message. Thanks for introducing me to the Daffodil Garden! Blessed by an angel.

    • profile image

      ulla_hennig 7 years ago

      Congratulations on "Lens of the Day"! I love daffodils, but I've never heard of the daffodil principle. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      So beautiful! It is very sad that the garden is now gone. I shall think of it often and pray for a resurrection as it seemed such an awesome attraction for that area. The first video showing the flowers with the wind caressing them made me think of angels praising God. Inspiring! God bless you for sharing. 5* If I were a SquidAngel, I'd bless you.

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 7 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Great job on telling the story of the Daffodil Principle.

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      ShortSaleRealtor 7 years ago

      Awesome lens and hi 5 for you

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 7 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I've read the story before. It's interesting to read your follow-up below. I love the principle applied to the daffodils. Congratulations on Lens of the Day!

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 7 years ago

      congrat on LOTD...very nice lens...5*...I love Daffodils, we have a neighbor who has a garden full of Daffodils just like the photo above...mine were eaten my the squirrles boohoo

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 7 years ago

      I love this lens! I'm lensrolling it to my Vision Board lens. It is perfect for visualizing and setting goals and having patience! Well done 5 stars and a fav.

    • KarenTBTEN profile image

      KarenTBTEN 7 years ago

      That daffodil story is beautiful. We're blessed with an early spring in Seattle. The daffodils are in blossom... not so many of them, though :)

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 8 years ago from UK

      This is a wonderful story, with an inspiring message. It's amazing what can be accomplished in small steps, 'one bulb at a time'. Thanks for the reminder! 5*

    • CCGAL profile image

      CCGAL 8 years ago

      Love this story - wish I could go and see her handiwork in person. Nice Job on this lens!

    • Lynne-Modranski profile image

      Lynne Modranski 8 years ago from Ohio

      [in reply to Treasures-By-Brenda] thanks so much!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 8 years ago from Canada

      Nicely done & blessed by a SquidAngel.

    • KathrynDarden profile image

      Kathryn Darden 8 years ago

      I've heard of this before - I wish you or your daughter had taken pictures!

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 8 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Wow, what a beautiful lens, in more ways than one!