A million blooms at Mrs. Lee's Daffodil Garden

A million blooms at Mrs. Lee's Daffodil Garden

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - If you like yellow you're going to love Mrs. Lee's Gardens. The daffodils are in bloom and the weather is cooperating.

It's located in northern Smith County, about halfway between I-20 and Gladewater, off Highway 271 on County Road 3103.

Dennis Phelps spends a lot of time managing the acreage that is Mrs. Lee's Garden, just so it can be open to the public for a couple weeks every year.

"Everything that you see the flowers growing in, I have to mow them, and to keep it mowed down so the flowers come up sometimes takes mowing them two to three times a year. And a thousand acres, that takes all year," Phelps said.

He works with nature and hopes for the best.

"The roads aren't that bad, but they still have to be worked on," Phelps stated.

Rain can wash out the road, and that affects the daffodils.

"So they're really not dying they're just.." Phelps said.

"Tired," I observed.

"They're just tired from the rain beating them down. They're trying to pick their heads up again," Phelps laughed.

But weather can shorten the season.

"So, how many are there?" I asked Dennis.

"Twenty-eight acres; would you like me to give you a millions and millions number?" Phelps smiled.

The daffodil garden has an interesting history. Helen and T.W. Lee made money in oil and bought the property to dig gravel for Gladewater's development. When T.W. died, Helen had lakes made out of the gravel pits and ordered a box of daffodils, but somehow got a boxcar full instead.

Dennis says daffodils prefer the hills, then I had to ask the burning question:

"Why the yellow truck?"

"I had the yellow truck ten years before I ever had this job," Dennis revealed.

The truck obviously waited patiently for its rightful place, but Dennis doesn't use it to haul fertilizer for the flowers.

"So God does pretty good taking care of these flowers. Like I say, all I have to do is mow," Dennis added.

And unlock the gate, because the daffodils are ready for their close-ups.

Mrs. Lee's Daffodil Garden is open to the public starting Thursday morning. They're open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week for the next few weeks, depending on how long the blooms last. It's free to get in, but they do accept donations.

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