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Daffodils Color Sawtooth Botanical Garden but Pasque Flowers Turn Heads, Too
A couple strolls past a field of daffodils that just bloomed this week.
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Sunday, May 14, 2023


Cherie Gervais sat on a bench at the Sawtooth Botanical Garden, her dog Harley at her feet, as she gazed across a field of daffodils towards the prayer wheel blessed by the Dalai Lama in the Garden of Infinite Compassion.

“Coming here has been on my bucket list,” said the Meridian woman. I went to Whidbey Island last summer where I got to see a Buddhist serenity garden. I decided this weekend I was going to finally make the journey here. It’s beautiful.”

Gervais was one of dozens of people who turned out for the Sawtooth Botanical Garden’s second annual Daffodil Festival.

Lyn Stallard, Terri Tischer and Laura Murphy avail themselves of all things potato at the Tater Trailer.

They began streaming in before the event officially started. And, once there, they didn’t seem to want to leave. They played cornhole on the lawn and lazily sat around, soaking up the sun.

And they took the opportunity to catch up with friends they hadn’t seen all winter—friends like David and Jill Hitchin who tried to come back to Sun Valley in April after surviving 13 atmospheric rivers at their second home in California only to have their return delayed by heavy snows on California’s mountain highways.

“The daffodils are fantastic,” said Gail Severn. “Not only do they provide early spring color but they provide another reason to visit the garden in early season. There are marsh marigolds along creek, but the daffodils are so happy and their bulbs do so well here. Daffodils and narcissus are perfect for the area because the deer and elk won’t eat them, unlike tulips.”

One tiny tot wore a big giant daffodil hat in keeping with the occasion. Swiss-born Renata Beguin, who is preparing to get her citizenship after 55 years of living in the United States, sported a daffodil in a Tiffany necklace made by an Italian artist named Elsa Perretti to resemble a flower vase.

While adults oogled the daffodils, youngsters turned their eyes to catching tadpoles at the creek.

Kathy Ogilvie poured mimosas for the crowd, while Tater Trucks served up crispy tater tots, along with potato skins topped with cheese and bacon and potato slabs on skewers. And art docents told people about various installations around the garden, including the prayer wheel that Gervais had so wanted to see.

Marty Lyon, who conceived the Daffodil Festival on behalf of the garden and the Senior Connection, reminisced about the 70-plus volunteers who planted 30,000 bulbs in the Fall of 2021.

“Look what we’ve created,” he said. “This is now a place to be at this time every year. We spent four days planting bulbs. Now we come back and we find a gift every year. What a wonderful thing.”

While many of the daffodils are in bloom, many are on the cusp of blooming. If you missed Saturday’s event, you can still see the daffodils at the Sawtooth Botanical Garden, which is south of Ketchum at Highway 75 and Gimlet Road.

Renata Beguin shows off the daffodil she placed in her Tiffany vase designed by Elsa Perretti.


The Sawtooth Botanical Garden is seeking donations to plant day lilies, Shasta daisies, black-eyed Susans camas lilies, bee balm and echinacea among the daffodils in the DOVID Memorial Garden. Those flowers will bloom after the daffodils, giving the garden color all season long.

Daffodils may have been the main attraction but the European Pasque Flower caught a lot of admiring looks, as well.

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