In the fall of 2019, Cashiers Area businesses surrounding the US 64 and NC 107 Crossroads were busy planting more than 1,500 daffodil bulbs in roadside beds. The Cashiers Area Chamber’s Retail Roundtable organized the wholesale purchase, courtesy of Dargan Landscape Architects, and installation of the multitude of flowers to create a dramatic visual cue when they bloom that Spring is arriving in the mountains!

According to a reference in The Charlotte Observer, North Carolina daffodil varieties were descendants of flowers that were planted in England in the 1200s. They speculate those made their way to the New World, and then out west when the Cherokee who had fallen in love with this lovely undocumented alien, carried daffodil bulbs on the Trail of Tears from the NC mountains to Oklahoma.

Here on the Western NC Plateau, the cheerful daffodil is typically among the first botanical to sprout among the high elevation flowering species. Despite some cold temperatures and occasional snow flurries in March, the flowers push their distinctive blooms up to signify the verdant season is just around the corner.

Southern Living advises daffordils are “long lived, increasing naturally from year to year; they stand up to cold and heat; they have many garden uses; and offer a fascinating array of flower forms, sizes, and colors. Given minimal care at planting, all thrive with virtually no further attention, not requiring summer watering and need only infrequent division. Finally, rodents and deer won't eat them.”

This Chamber’s Retail Roundtable daffodil effort included not only individual business purchases and planting of the bulbs but also the engagement of youth group support in public areas like the Village Green. Planting was an opportunity for students to learn about the importance of environmental stewardship and the future payoff of investment in time and energy.

Last year, the Chamber’s Retail Roundtable also sponsored a Welcome Cashiers doormat hospitality campaign, a Cashiers 1833 flag promotion, and the Cashiers Village Lights holiday display in coordination with the central park’s Christmas festivities and tree lighting.