Daffodils are a sure sign of the arrival of spring, but here in New York City the perennial spring flower also serves as a tribute to those who lost their lives September 11th. Many of the beautiful buds that are blooming all over the city right now were planted as part of The Daffodil Project to serve as a living memorial to those who perished in the attacks, as well as a symbol of hope and renewal for the future.
The Daffodil Project was the idea of Lynden Miller, a public garden designer in New York City who has restored parks all over the city. Miller wanted to find a way to help the city and joined with the New York City Parks Department and New Yorkers for Parks to initiate the effort in the months after September 11th. Miller secured a donation of a half a million daffodil bulbs from Dutch bulb supplier Hans van Waardenburg and over 10,000 volunteers planted bulbs in parks and other spaces all over the city.
The daffodil was chosen because yellow is the color of remembrance, and also, as Ms. Miller told The New Yorker, “It’s tough and resilient and cheerful and loud and noisy. It comes up every year and nothing stops it. Tulips get eaten by squirrels.”
So far more than four million bulbs have been planted in public parks and spaces in all five boroughs over the last decade.
Mayor Bloomberg named the daffodil the official flower of New York City in 2007.