ITHACA, NY – After enduring two years of a global pandemic – which has left many things dull and undiscovered – The Ithaca Garden Club, the City of Ithaca and Cornell University have come together to bring color back to the community.
Daff-a-Dazzle, an initiative to beautify Ithaca, began in October 2020 when the Ithaca Garden Club planted 12,000 daffodils and over 5,000 grape hyacinths and crocuses along Taughannock Boulevard.
Many of these bulbs were planted right outside the office of Jeanne Grace, the Ithaca City Forester. Noticing how attractive the plantations looked, Grace knew she would love to see more of this vibrant color around Ithaca.
“I was looking out my window and seeing people taking pictures of the flowers,” Grace said. “These flowers were exactly what we needed. They bring joy after the long gray winters of Ithaca. I got involved as quickly as I could. »
Grace took matters into her own hands by involving the Ithaca Economic Development Office. By joining forces, Grace was able to help the Ithaca Garden Club fund the purchase of 20,500 bulbs, all planted in the fall of 2021.
Grace’s involvement in the project extends to include her research of where to plant new bulbs. She finds land on which it is possible to plant, sheltered from underground networks and infertile soils.
However, the planting process would not be possible without the efforts of Dr. Bill Miller, professor of horticulture at Cornell University’s School of Integrative Plant Sciences. On behalf of Cornell, Miller lends a state-of-the-art planting machine to the Daff-a-Dazzle initiative, a machine donated to the university by A. Geerlings, a Dutch bulb company. With the help of this machine, thousands of bulbs can be planted in minutes, saving time and energy for everyone.
“Daff-a-Dazzle allows us to take a great place, Ithaca, and make it better,” Miller said. “I’m grateful the Garden Club gave me a crucial role to play, but it’s their vision and dedication that makes it all possible.”
Grace, Miller and the Ithaca Garden Club encourage residents and passers-by to consider donating to the Daff-a-Dazzle project.
“Every dollar goes into the bulbs,” said Ithaca Garden Club member Elaine Alexander. “Everyone on the team gives their time, energy and resources to make Daff-a-Dazzle a success, but community donations go directly to beautifying Ithaca, a light bulb that time.”
You can donate to the Daff-a-Dazzle initiative directly using their PayPal link. https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=66CHMBWU5NTFW
“The club is working on many civic projects, but this one is something special,” said fellow Ithaca Garden Club member Wendy Blanchard. “The number of bulbs we planted last fall almost doubled compared to the previous year. Imagine what we could accomplish next year with community donations. Daffodils should start blooming around the first week of April and they are sure to mesmerize you. What a way to commemorate the Garden Club’s centenary year.
Be sure to visit Cass Park and the Stewart Park Waterfront Trail in the coming weeks to see these blooming daffodils.