Daffodils turn the jagged botanical garden yellow

STORY AND PHOTO OF KAREN BOSSICK

Marty Lyon learned what it’s like to be a farmer as he prepares for the first Wood River Valley Daffodil Festival at the Sawtooth Botanical Garden.

He watches the skies and looks at the weather forecast as he tries to figure out how the more than 30,000 daffodils that volunteers planted last fall will react to a colder than normal spring with snowfall for the first few days of May.

“We already have quite a few daffodils in bloom. A few warm days and it will look really nice,” said Lyon, who founded the festival as a collaboration between the Sawtooth Botanical Garden and Senior Connection.

“There will be years when it will be warmer. And the experience of going to the public garden and seeing tens of thousands of daffodils will only get better year after year as the daffodils will double,” he added. “It’s a continuing gift to the community for many years to come – the beauty offered at a time of year when people don’t think of going to the botanical garden.”

Wood River Valley’s first Daffodil Festival will kick off from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 7 at the Sawtooth Botanical Garden.

There will be games for children and flower tours for adults. The Caritas choir will perform at 12:30 p.m., and members of the Wood River Orchestra, Ukesters ukulele band and Rick Hoel will also provide music throughout the event. There will be lemonade and cookies, and the KB Food Truck and Warfield Distillery will have food and drink available for purchase.

At 11:30 a.m., several speakers will dedicate the Daffodil COVID Memorial Garden, which features 4,500 mixed-color daffodils.

“We are using this Daffodil Festival as a way to recognize the impact COVID has had on our community and the impact it has had on those who have lost loved ones,” Lyon said.

The garden will also be open on Mother’s Day with SBG staff offering tours and answering questions.

The Sawtooth Botanical Garden and Senior Connection will share proceeds from the festival, using them to continue their work of showcasing the beauty and diversity of the garden and extending the quality of life for seniors.

The Sawtooth Botanical Garden and Senior Connection will be offering sponsorship opportunities to purchase additional bulbs for Phase 2 of the Daffodil Festival this summer. The bulbs will be planted next fall.

Next year, organizers hope to expand the festival to include viewing parties and another celebratory event.

“This project will last for decades,” Lyon said. “We intend to help it grow each year into an event that will boost our local economy.

The inaugural event was made possible and generously sponsored by several organizations and individuals, including AARP, Hanna Bigelow, City of Hailey, Clearwater Landscaping, LYON Landscape Architects, Edward Jones, Insurance Specialist Group, Marty and Mila Lyon, Shelley Seibel & Alex Margolin, Kathy Lynn, Windermere Real Estate, Verdi Wealth Management, HearingLife, WEBB, Winn’s Compost, The Johnson Company, Dede and Steven Huish, Mardi Shepard, Shuford Financial Partners, Scott Miley Roofing and Sun Valley Garden Center.

Questions? Call 208-788-3468.

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