As daffodil day gets nearer, Glenys Campbell is hard at work planning for the picking and arranging of the beautiful yellow blooms.
As the flower coordinator for Stratford Daffodil Day, Glenys works as the go between for the committee and the Stratford Floral Art Group, who have been involved in arranging the daffodils for many years.
The contribution made by the Stratford Floral Art Group hasn't gone unnoticed, she says.
"In 1999 the Stratford Floral Art Group was presented with a beautiful daffodil trophy from the Cancer Society, for supporting Daffodil Day for 10 years. The trophy is presented each year to one of our valued members."
While Daffodil Day itself takes place on a Friday every year, for Glenys and her volunteers the work starts earlier in the week, with a small team of helpers going out to pick daffodils from Stratford's surrounding areas on the Wednesday prior, she says.
The Wednesday picking happens regardless of the weather, meaning over the years Glenys and her volunteers have experienced all varieties of weather conditions.
"We are always at the mercy of the weather, snow and hail delay the blooms, Some years we have had to pick in the rain."
Picking in the rain isn't just inconvenient to the pickers, she says, it also puts the precious flowers at risk of damage.
"The rain can damage the blooms especially the double ones."
Once picked, the flower stems are placed in water "to give them a good drink," says Glenys.
The daffodils are picked from a wide range of places around the area she says.
"Kind people allow us to pick from their farms and gardens from Tariki, Midhirst to Hāwera. We do have an order into a commercial grower in Palmerston North, as we are never guaranteed our local bulbs will bloom in time."
When it comes to selecting the perfect flowers, Glenys says pickers need to think abut the longevity of the flower.
"Blooms that have just opened or are about to open keep the best."
Once picked, the flowers are transported to the War Memorial Centre in Stratford ready for another busy day on the Thursday. This, says Glenys, is when the members of the Stratford Floral Art Group along with other volunteers meet to arrange the daffodils into the beautiful arrangements people see for sale, and on the tables, on the Friday.
"Floral Art members pick foliage and suitable plant material to compliment the daffodils, from their own gardens. On the Thursday we gather from 10am at the War Memorial Centre to arrange the daffodils with the foliage into cardboard boxes or decorated recycled tin cans."
"We are always happy to welcome anyone who would like to come and join us, it is quite a social time we all chat while we create boxes of joy.