Daffodil Alley is the name of a project that was started in 2008 by that year’s Leadership Cocke County class. The initial endeavor has since been expanded as a community wide beautification program that is participated in by Keep Cocke County Beautiful, the Newport Garden Club, Cocke County Partnership’s Tourism Department, and the local N.J.R.O.T.C. cadets.
To date around 7,500 daffodil bulbs have been planted by these volunteers. The bulbs, or funds, have been donated by Keep Cocke County Beautiful, The Cocke County Partnership, and individual donors including Dr. Thomas Conway.
Sites planted include the Newport Community Center, Tanner Cultural Center, Smoky Mountain Visitors Center On Cosby, Newport River Walk, and multiple businesses along Broadway (Hwy 321) in Newport. The Hartford Welcome Center and several locations in Parrottsvile, including the former home of Bill and Polly Ottinger: in honor of Polly, are also sporting these colorful harbingers of spring.
This is a project normally undertaken in November so the bulbs will be ready to sprout in the spring. To volunteer your time or to donate daffodil bulbs or funding, call Keep Cocke County Beautiful at (423) 623-1050.
Facts About Daffodils In Nature
By: Gene Rodriguez, III
The daffodil is a common harbinger of spring. As the earliest blooming bulb in most temperate climates, the daffodil features prominently in the spring myths and celebrations of cultures from North America to Asia.
By any other name. Daffodil is the common English name of the species of plants known more formally as Narcissus. In some parts of the southern US, daffodil plants are known as Jonquil.
Careful with that! Daffodil bulbs contain the poison lykorine, which is also found in small traces in the foliage of the plant. The poison protects daffodils from animal predators, making it a good plant for areas where deer and rodents are known to be a problem in the garden.
Plenty of choices. There are between 50 and 100 (sources disagree) species of daffodil in cultivation, with a wide range of sizes, colors and bloom times available.
A long history. Daffodils are native from southern Europe through western Asia. Daffodils first appear in recorded history around 300 BC and were grown for medicinal purposes by the ancient Greeks, Romans and Chinese.
Daffodils In Culture
Full of himself. According to the ancient Greeks, a youth named Narcissus was so captured by his reflection in a pool of water that he was unable to leave. He died without food or water and later, daffodils grew on the spot.
Good luck. According to Chinese legend, the daffodil is a symbol of good fortune. The daffodil is used as a symbol of the Chinese New Year and if a daffodil blooms in your garden on New Year’s Day, your house will have good fortune for the entire year.