BY VIRGINIA STILL
With 28,000 varieties of daffodils out there, there’s plenty to be featured in a Mother Lode Show dedicated specifically to the spring flower. The 22nd Annual Daffodil Show, sponsored by the Northern California Daffodil Society and the Calaveras County Garden Club, will be held March 18-19 at Ironstone Vineyards in Murphys.
The presentation begins a few miles prior to arriving at the entrance of the winery where several daffodils have been planted on the side of the road and once at the entrance, the impressive display of color all around in half barrels of these fabulous jonquils is a sight to see.
“We have actually had people think that all the half barrels of daffodils that are all around is the show,” said Bob Spotts, co-chairman of the Mother Lode Daffodil Show.
“You are really invited with a tremendous display of daffodils along the way and then when you get into the show, which is in the heritage room at Ironstone, there will be table after table of cut flowers.
“It may be a little bit of a change for them to see cut flowers in test tubes arranged by color and size and the judges come in and pick the best of the show.”
“It (daffodil show) is such a remarkable and breathtaking display that I believe that everyone should experience in person,” stated Mary Watts, director of sales and marketing for Ironstone Vineyards.
“Last year we had over 300,000 daffodils on display and I know for this year we have 48 tons of daffodils that have been planted by our Master Gardener, Larry Ringland.
“Larry has worked with the Kautz family for 46 years and is extremely passionate about his work. Our colorful and vibrant gardens would not be what they are without Larry’s hard work and expertise.”
Once in the showroom, guests will find daffodil exhibits in horticulture, artistic designs and photography.
This family-friendly event will have about 1,000 different varieties of daffodils at the show that will be on display and judged in several different categories and 13 different divisions. There will be some daffodils that were bred in the early 1900s or earlier that will be displayed in the historical varieties, or classical ones that were bred and grown in 1960, and also a modern display. All flowers will have names and descriptions on them and the ones that only have numbers are the under developed daffodils.
There will also be a collection of miniatures that will be on display that are grown in a protected area.
“Some people do not believe that they are daffodils but they are,” said Spotts. “You will see every color and size and shape that you ever thought of. There is no cost to get into the show and we really encourage you to bring your family. Some kids think the flowers and all the colors are really neat and it is just a really lovely day.”
Spotts explained that global warming has advanced the time of when the daffodils bloom so they are considering moving the show to an earlier time. There are five judges and a few experts that will be on hand to answer questions. The public is encouraged to bring in the daffodils that they have grown in their gardens.
“What we are trying to do is encourage people to see that this flower grows with no problem at all,” expressed Spotts. “You can take a daffodil bulb and put it in the ground and it will grow forever in Murphys. The emphasis that I really want to make is that this is the Mother Lode Daffodil Show and it would be really nice if we could continue to increase the number of local participants.”
The passion that Spotts has for daffodils began several years ago when he lived in an apartment in the Bay Area. The idea for the show originated with Richard Hunt, who contacted Spotts and other friends in the Sierra to make it happen. For the first two years the show was hosted in Amador City and with its success, caught the interest of John Kautz of Ironstone Vineyards, where the show has been for the past 20 years.
Entries are being accepted up until the day of the show, including special hours the night before, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. March 17 and again until 9 a.m. March 18.