About The Daffodil Garden 

If a miracle is the transformation of the ordinary into the extraordinary, what better demonstrations than drafts of daffodils unfurling their frilly petticoats, illuminating the spring sunshine, and bobbing in a spring breeze in an otherwise untamed mountain wilderness?

"In Sunlight, In a Beautiful Garden"

The weavers of this magic are two quiet forces named (Alma) Gene Bauer and her husband, Dale.  They are "co-producers of the largest and most spectacular daffodil garden on the planet, probably. (~ Source

She is an artist by training, and he, an architect. Since 1958,  they have been tending their beloved daffodil garden. 

Would they think of themselves as magicians? Likely not.  

It is likelier that they think of their mountainside gardening as an aesthetic pleasure, or perhaps, simply as good physical activity.  Or, possibly, as their way of being good stewards by making the world a better place. 

This is certain: They have created a masterpiece and a lasting legacy that will preserve the joy and excitement with which these harbingers of spring are welcomed.


"When love and skill work together, 
expect a masterpiece."

~ John Ruskin


The Bauers are true miracle workers, for what better miracles can there be but a mountain hillside awash with daffodils growing on the poorest and rockiest of singed soil? 

"Amazing Grace"

Unlike the invisibly tended and watered garden of Eden, The Daffodil Garden is the result of the Bauers' toil and sweat, perseverance and fortitude.  As any gardener in the mountains knows, the ground is 99.9% pure rock.

Each bulb has been planted by Mrs. Bauer, or as she puts it: "One at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet and a body minus a brain."  Inspired by a few daffodils in a neighbor's garden and impressed with their beauty and sturdiness, Mrs. Bauer planted the first 48 daffodils in the fall of 1958.  They thrived.

Ever since,  in communion with soil, water, sunshine and air, the burgeoning of the onion-like bulbs begins in the springtime.  Stubby green nubs peek out from the melting snow, quickly transforming into bright splashes of greenery.  Then like miracles, the garden explodes with thousands of daffodil blooms. 

Whimsy : A fanciful, fantastic device, object, or creation, especially in writing or art. Literary oddity, caprice, fancy, dream, fantasy, vision, humor, thought, inclination.

The miracle of this garden is not obvious to the uninformed visitor to the garden.  It is said that there are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few that will capture your heart.  The Daffodil Garden is one of the few, especially when you are aware of its history. 

In  late Summer,1999, a disaster that united nature’s power with man’s carelessness destroyed the Bauer's cozy, A-frame home, its surrounding shady trees and garden, and its garden's structures and furniture.  

The Willow Fire , the largest wildfire in California, not only rampaged through the Bauer property but also consumed 64,000 acres of national forest before it was contained.  It is believed to be caused by an unattended illegal campfire near a willowed creek


“Man must endure whatever wind doth blow
 From God, and labor still without lament…” 
~ Marcus Aurelius


In the face of misfortune, strong and resilient, the Bauers began a new chapter in their lives by clearing out  the charred remains of their original home. On the original home's footprint, they built a strikingly attractive, architecturally interesting new home.  

"An Exploration of Fate and Free Will"


Hope, it is said, never dies within a real gardener's heart.  Undeterred, the Bauers have re-established their mountain garden with fresh landscaping, a charming gazebo, an informative display area and garden furniture.  

Miraculously, the daffodil bulbs beneath the ground survived the conflagration. Like the legendary Phoenix that rose from the ashes, the daffodils rose from the ashes the following spring. 

Daffodils thrive in full sunshine.  The south- and west-facing hillsides, denuded of its shady oaks, cedars, maples and firs created the perfect solar conditions for their spectacular comeback. 

"Beauty, Comfort and Peace"

Like Eden, The Daffodil Garden is, of course, ephemeral. The first blooms may appear as early as the end of February and the last may finish up in May. The peak comes in late March and April when the Bauers open their garden to the public for three weeks. 

And indeed, one of the greatest charms of a spring garden is its ever-changing, fleeting nature.  We are reminded of the fragile and fleeting nature of our own lives, gaining a sense of what the Japanese call "a -wa-re."   

Taking note that nothing is permanent is always a good, if not bittersweet, thing.   We take things less for granted.

Along the undulating paths are new benches befitting a formal garden for artists, aficionados, and winded visitors who welcome short rest stops between drafts of daffodils;  they invitingly urge the quiet sitting, reflection and full enjoyment of the garden without the usual "hurry, hurry, hurry."

Perhaps, we should take our cue from the daffodil: 

"Life is short.  Make it sweet." 
~ Author Unknown

"Moments of Untarnished Glory" 

The garden lavishes its gifts upon the senses.  As visitors meander along the sun-drenched paths, their senses are excited by the fragrances of the blooms,  the color of the garden palette, the delicate beauty of the daffodils, the call of the songbirds, and the broad vistas in every direction. 

"Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful: 
they are sunshine, food and medicine to the soul."
~Luther Burbank

"Sensationally breath-taking!" 

With its living presences of birds and flowers, the garden gently urges its visitors to live wholly in the present.  When a hawk alights upon the upper branches of a winter-bare tree, one can choose to ignore it and keep walking or pause to attend to its winged glory.  

"The Stars of the Garden"

The Greeks called the goddess Aphrodite "The Golden One" because of the way in which love transforms the beloved with radiant beauty.  The love of the Bauers has transformed and twice restored this mountain hillside. It is once again a paradise of radiant daffodils that wave and dance in the springtime breeze.

These mountains have a storied mining past and according to local lore,  "Thar's still gold in them thar mountains."  The Mother Lode has yet to be discovered. But as discerning visitors to this timeless garden know, the Mother Lode resides in the hearts of (Alma) Gene Bauer and her husband, Dale.

>> Next:  Visitor Info: When and Where


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| The Legend of The Daffodil Garden | About the Garden | Visitor Info: When and Where | A Virtual Walking Tour(Alma) Gene and Dale Bauer | The Daffodil Garden Fact Sheet | About Daffodils | Daffodil Lore | Daffodil ArtDaffodil Sayings & QuotesDaffodil OdesDaffodil Links | Site Map |

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Ralph Waldo Emerson

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