Bernson's Corner: The daffodils of Mrs. Helen Trueblood
These are the names of Helen Trueblood's children: Apricot Blush and Catherine Johnston; Enchanted Prince and Sea White; Starbrook and John's Old-Fashioned.
They are the names of daffodils, more than a thousand varieties that grow on Mrs. Trueblood's amazing hilltop. She checks each one, "this little white one, I thought I'd lost it. I found some bulbs up by the house and now it's got lots of bulbs. 'Agnes Harvey.'"
Helen Trueblood's gardening year is full of work. There's digging and dividing in June, more digging, planting and fertilizing in October, but the payoff: this dazzling riot of April bloom. She explains, "That sounds like a lot of work, maybe, but you can do all that in a little bit, you know. I call it play." Mrs. Trueblood has loved these flowers nearly all of her 92 years. "I don't know, I think I was born in a daffodil patch."
She is also a master flower show judge. "A good daffodil will have the tip of this through the middle, and through here right down through the stem, and the stem will be straight like that." She says, "around here, I know more than most people, because they don't care that much about daffodils. But they're just something that comes in the spring, when we've had a bad winter, and I think their faces just always look happy and that's what I like, is happy faces. Heh, heh! I don't like grouches. Grouches and whiners. Heh, heh, heh!"
Daffodils have been growing at her Scott County home since the first English settlers came to Indiana -- some of them Mrs. Trueblood's own ancestors.
Mrs. Trueblood and her husband Verne -- who died in 1986 -- never had children. God, she says, must have decided I wouldn't be a good mother. And yet -- her children are everywhere. The delicate whites and golds and pale pinks will blossom just a few days. Just capturing a moment of spring. These are the moments Helen Trueblood has lived for, even to this, her 92nd April.
"Any of the spring flowers, they don't last that long because Mother Nature has made 'em to come and make you happy, and something else is coming on -- and they can rest then." Trueblood says the biggest mistake most gardeners make when it comes to daffodils -- is cutting back their foliage too soon after the blossoms die off. She says the greens need to soak up energy for at least six weeks after the flowers bloom.
From Scott County Indiana -- Barry Bernson, Fox41 News.