Manlius While driving through Manlius in the month of May, it’s almost impossible not to notice the bursts of yellow popping up in all corners of the village.
The flowers are daffodils, and they were planted by the Spade and Trowel Garden Club in celebration of the village’s bicentennial, which was celebrated in 2013.
The mastermind behind the project was Manlius resident Loretta Henderson, who has been a member of the Spade and Trowel Garden Club for more than 40 years.
“I love how peaceful [gardening] is; it’s soothing,” Henderson said. “The camaraderie of the garden club is fantastic. We do a lot of projects together – we fix beautiful arrangements and learn from the other talented members.
In early 2012, a member of the village of Manlius’ Bicentennial Committee approached the Spade and Trowel Club and asked if members would be interested in doing a project to commemorate the village’s 200th birthday. Soon after this meeting, Henderson drafted a six-page plan detailing everything that would be needed for the village beautification project.
She said she was excited to jump back into event planning –something she has her fair share of experience in.
“In the 1960s, my family had charity events here in the yard. It was a fun way to keep my kids busy during the summers. It was my kids and all the other Manlius kids who lived in the neighborhood who would put on these charity events in the yard – I loved doing it,” Henderson said.
Henderson also organized two fashion shows at the village firehouse and a winter ice skating event, where she helped create a skating rink behind the fire station for residents to enjoy. “My kids dressed up as the Beatles – it was a riot!” she said.
Bicentennial beautification project
Henderson’s idea was to raise money to purchase thousands of daffodil bulbs, which would be planted in the fall of 2012 so that people driving through Manlius would get a first glimpse of the flowers in the spring of 2013 – a few months into the bicentennial. And after the bulbs were planted, she wanted to have a gala to celebrate the village’s birthday and beautification. Henderson knew that it would be a lot of work, so she assembled a committee, composed of five other women from the garden club who helped her sell raffle tickets and organize the project.