Happy spring! During my childhood, I lived for many years on five wonderful acres on Granny White Pike. There were lots of trees to climb in, a workshop, a potting shed, a green house, lots of gardens, a fish pond, and a root cellar! Pretty much paradise for a young person. Each year in late winter and early spring, I eagerly anticipated the arrival of daffodils that had been planted by our home’s previous owners way back in the 1940s. Now this was no ordinary cluster of daffodils–this was an immense cutting garden with thousands of bulbs and blooms in multiple rows–a beautiful sight to see and smell and experience. I wonder if the owners knew that the bulbs they planted would be delighting a new family over 40 years in the future?
Planting thousands of daffodils is a gift to the future, not just for one spring but for several generations. Daffodil bulbs and their potential remind me of the green investments that our city can “plant” today–like greenways, protected bike lanes, sidewalks with green buffers, street trees, water gardens, bioswales, pervious pavement, canopy trees, native flowers, and pocket parks. If these infrastructure “bulbs” are planned thoughtfully and planted well, Nashville and Nashvillians will be enjoying the beauty and utility of those investments (and daffodils) for generations to come.
One place that comes to mind when I think about daffodils and the importance of enhancing and maintaining green space is the “traffic island” at the intersection of Abbott Martin & Cleghorn. In the early 2000s, as a volunteer for The Green Hills Action Partners (TGHAP), I applied for a small grant from the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods for a brick and limestone welcome sign to provide a sense of arrival in the business district. TGHAP partnered with surrounding property owners and businesses to plant bushes and seasonal flowers, but my favorite part of the process was planting daffodil bulbs with fellow volunteers.
We requested those bulbs from Metro Beautification/Public Works, and you too can get daffodil bulbs from Metro, if you focus your efforts at a local school. Start thinking now about partnering with a school to plant daffodils this fall. The deadline is October 31st to request bulbs via this form, and November is the ideal time to plant them. Learn all about daffodils and what they need to thrive here.
This month the Abbott Martin & Cleghorn “traffic island” is again going through a transformation. The tall and stately elm that was for many years the highlight of this space died unexpectedly this summer and a redbud tree that had brought spring color seemed to have given up with old age. The demise of these two trees prompted me to seek out community partners to make this public space beautiful once again. This month in partnership with The Tree Foundation & Metro Public Works, we are planning and planting for the future of this green space in the heart of our business district. More on this project later!
Today, I am looking forward to seeing the 10,000 daffodils planted by Cheekwood on the lawn behind their Pineapple Room restaurant for Cheekwood in Bloom. (Go ASAP, they are in full bloom now!), and in the coming weeks, 100,000 tulips will be blooming too. One of District 34’s many treasures, Cheekwood is beautiful in every season, but spring is a special treat. I encourage you to join me as a member, if you’re not one already, to help support and preserve this unique landscape for generations to come!
As your councilperson, I will be committed to protecting, preserving and enhancing District 34’s natural environment and special places. I will be committed to creating more vibrant, safe and beautiful public spaces and streetscapes throughout Nashville. Through intentional efforts, strategic investments, and community partnerships, we can make our city’s public spaces more beautiful. Let’s plan and plant for Nashville’s future together. Is there a public space in District 34 that could be more safe and/or beautiful? A triangle of concrete that should be a bed of native wildflowers? A spot that needs some daffodils? Go to my contact page and send me a message. I’d love to hear from you.