The daffodils are blooming again at Montrose Farm in Fayette County, just as they have every spring since the bulbs were planted more than 70 years ago.
"They're always happy harbingers of spring," said Lucy McKinstry, who lives at Montrose Farm on Bryan Station Road with her husband, John. "We love sharing them with people we know. We think a daffodil that goes unpicked and unshared isn't living up to its full potential."
The bulbs were planted by Will Simms, a Bourbon County farmer who lived at the farm during World War II. The land has been in the McKinstry family since Lucy McKinstry's great-grandfather acquired the property about 1880.
"Mr. Simms planted them, I guess you could say, as a thank-you to my father and my grandparents for living here," Lucy McKinstry said. "Family legend has it that he acquired the bulbs from a nursery in Holland that was going out of business, and had a railroad car full of them delivered to Kentucky."
Whether it was Simms' planting skills or the quality of the bulbs, the daffodils have come up ever since. Of course, they might be getting an extra boost this spring from all the recent rain.
Daffodils are one of the longest-lasting flowers, according to Rick Durham, a professor of horticulture at the University of Kentucky. It isn't unusual to find clumps of them growing in spots around Central Kentucky where now-vanished homesteads stood long ago, he said.
No one knows just how many daffodils Montrose Farm has, but there are thousands.
The McKinstrys say they don't give the bulbs any special care, other than waiting until after Memorial Day every year to mow them.
Lucy McKinstry said her family likes to go out every year on the winter solstice to brush away dead leaves, and snow if there is any, to get a first glimpse of daffodils coming up.
"They're a gift," she said, "and we are stewards of that gift."