I always catch my breath when I see garden survivors like this little clump of narcissus on the UW campus. They speak of the history of the site. Presumably the bulbs were planted by whomever owned the house that became part of the university’s property, if such was the case. Perhaps, also, they remain from previous campus landscape schemes, like the plantings for the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific exposition that was a blockbuster local hit in 1909.
There’s a quiet archaeology of historic plants. Apple trees grow, fall over, and “walk” downhill from their original roots. Roses brought west on covered wagons are hunted and fostered by the descendants of the original farmers. Daffodils are amazingly persistent and turn up now and then in the deepest woods.
A plantsman whose name I forget commented that if one has a valuable cultivar and gives slips of it away, there is no risk of it being lost.
-30-More after the jump.