SMITH: Daffodil king, queen meet

The press was there when Mr. Daffodil of Sonoma County met Ms. Daffodil.

Well, I was there. Along with thousands and thousands of the yellow and white flowers that trumpet the approach of spring.

The meeting came about through the initiative of

Circus Waldissima


Merle Reuser, who grew up in Cloverdale as an honorary grandson of Margaret Elizabeth Adams. Daffodil bulbs blossomed and divided for a century on Margaret's ranch, and every spring she'd cut hundreds of the flowers and ask young Merle to help her hand them out.

Margaret was 104 when she died in 2000. Merle, now 65, honors her and their friendship by continuing to harvest and replant her daffodils.

He's now given away nearly 80,000 of the cut flowers. His goal is to make gifts of 1 million of them (with help from friends) by 2030.

When Merle heard about the Daffodil Lady of Sonoma Valley, he knew he had to meet her.

Marde Ross is a green thumb and mail-order retailer of flowering bulbs who settled on 10 acres up above greater Glen Ellen's Warm Springs Road about a dozen years ago and planted 180,000 bulbs on what's become known as Daffodil Hill.

As she gave Merle a tour, they spoke of daffodil varieties, desirable growing conditions, which species blossom early, which bloom late and which grow from bulbs that multiply.

Much of the conversation between Merle Reuser and Marde Ross (same initials!) was over my head. But even I caught their agreement that there's room in a happy life for almost unimaginable numbers of daffodils.

© The Press Democrat |  Terms of Service |  Privacy Policy |  Jobs With Us |  RSS |  Advertising |  Sonoma Media Investments |  Place an Ad
Switch to our Mobile View