The weekend of April 14 and 15 in Granville will be a weekend to celebrate the cheerful harbinger of spring, the Daffodil flower. Saturday the 14th is Garden Day at Robbins Hunter Museum, coinciding with the annual Daffodil Show at Bryn Du Mansion that weekend and the day’s schedule is full.
Notable to RHM’s Garden Day is the American Daffodil Society’s (ADS) recognition and dedication of the Jill Harms Griesse Historic Garden at 12 noon. Garden Day coincides with the annual Granville Garden Club’s Daffodil Show and Sale at Bryn Du Mansion and activities at both venues have been planned collaboratively, says Christina Gray, chair and RHM board member.
“The Granville Garden Club (GGC) is thrilled that the ADS recognition of the Jill Griesse Garden at RHM is being held in conjunction with this year’s annual Daffodil Show,” added Pam Clements, GGC liaison. “Having the RHM garden recognized for its daffodils and the GGCs ongoing partnership with RHM that includes nurturing and maintaining the gardens, including the many daffodils, is a natural fit.”
The road to garnering this distinguished honor began several years ago when the museum’s garden committee laid the groundwork for a well-planned and designed planting of named varieties of the spring flower. The dedication ceremony is free and open to the public.
The honor is significant in the botanical world, placing the Jill Harms Griesse Historic Garden on a list of only 25 gardens in 15 states to have met the staunch criteria of being recognized as an approved Daffodil garden. The Griesse Historic Garden joins such highly recognized gardens as Winterthur, in Delaware; Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania; Chicago Botanical Gardens; and Eudora Welty House Garden in Jackson, Mississippi.
The garden’s namesake, Jill Griesse, who passed away in 2014, had a passion for Daffodils that led her to the presidency of the ADS and a lifetime cultivator of the species, which can feature thousands of varieties. Her own garden, located on the land surrounding her home on North Street, was filled with many of those, some rare, others her own cultivars. On her passing, the museum board, with the encouragement and support of Paul Griesse, Jill’s husband, launched the project. He donated many bulbs from his late wife’s gardens to get the ball rolling.
The garden now features nearly 400 named varieties.
Saturday kicks off with a fun event open to the public. Noted botanist Brent Heath of Brent and Becky’s Bulbs in Gloucester County, Virginia, will lead a bulb planting workshop beginning at 10 a.m. Summer flowering bulbs and pots are included in the $50 fee. Registration is necessary and can be accomplished through the website or by calling the museum at 740.587.0430.
Brent, a long-time friend of the Granville Garden Club and the hybridizer of many of the flowers in the Museum’s collection, is a naturalist, an author, a photographer, a speaker, a daffodil hybridizer and a gardener. Because of achievements in all of these areas of expertise, he has won many gold medal awards from various organizations in the horticultural industry.
One of Brent’s greatest joys is sharing his love of all things natural in the world and inspiring people of all ages and experiences to look at the world around them in a different, eye-opening way. He has helped them understand how to take care of the earth for the next crop and/or for future generations. He has given lectures and shared knowledge with gardeners in every state except North Dakota and Hawaii. His plans for the future are to continue to play in his garden and care for the earth while encouraging others to do the same.
Brent will also speak that evening, 7–8:30 p.m., at RHM in a talk titled “Undaunted Daffodils.” Admission is free for RMH and Granville Garden Club members, $15 non-members. Again please register with the museum.
“We already knew of Brent through their bulb business and their association with the Garden Club,” says Christina Gray, board member. “But we had no idea he also had an ADS recognized garden, so it seemed a natural fit to invite him to speak.”
“As a member of the Granville Garden Club and as a trustee of the museum, bringing the Jill Griesse Historic Garden and its wonderful collection of Daffodils to the national stage is tremendously fulfilling,” she said.
All in all, the day will become an enjoyable and easy way to come to the museum, Christina said.