POSTED: Friday, February 22, 2013 - 5:30pm
UPDATED: Friday, February 22, 2013 - 5:44pm
Gladewater, TX (Longview News-Journal) — Helen Lee’s daffodils are once again blooming, and bringing joy to thousands of East Texans.
About 60 years ago, Helen Lee transformed a 916-acre tract of land near Gladewater into a paradise that blooms each year with thousands of daffodils. The daffodils bloom on about 28 acres of the land. The garden, free to visitors, is at 21600 CR 3103 in Gladewater. It’s open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily but closes if there is rain.
The garden will remain open through March, or until the daffodils have wilted, said Carolyn Johnson, who has operated Mrs. Lee’s Daffodil Garden since 1999. Johnson, the granddaughter of two of Helen Lee’s workers, is passing on the reins this year to Dennis Phelps. Phelps recently retired but lives in the area. He wanted a part-time job to keep him busy, and decided Mrs. Lee’s Daffodil Garden was just what he watned to do.
“It’s just beautiful out here,” Phelps said.
He will continue Helen Lee’s legacy.
However, the history of the daffodil gardens does not start with the bulbs themselves. It starts first with a wedding.
When T.W. and Helen Lee married, they had 15 cents to their name, Johnson said. T.W. Lee had an entrepreneurial spirit and determination, and he made his way into the oil business, she said.
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