A Tulip Grows in Southern California

Spring is just 10 days away. The crocuses are popping up in the usual places. And the tulips? They're blooming in one very unusual place where a grower has a way of tricking nature, as CBS News correspondent John Blackstone reports.

In Southern California, palm trees grow tall and cactus gardens thrive - but the heat makes it a terrible place for tulips…

"We just can't grow 'em here," said gardener Mary Hovland. "Except he's the exception to the rule I guess."

Somehow Wayne Daniels grows tulips in Southern California.

"As time went on I kept adding more and more," Daniels said of his tulip garden. "Got some compliments from the neighbors, which encourage me to add more each year."

Now, after 30 years, he plants more than 3,000 bulbs in his front yard oasis each fall.

"He loves people to love his plants," said neighbor Jan McCaughey.

By March tulips are bursting into bloom in a place they aren't expected.

"All of a sudden - bam! - you know you have flowers exploding all over the place," said Melissa Santa Maria.

And tulip lovers, a species starved for nourishment in Southern California, start showing up by the bunch.

"I enjoy the people at this stage of doing it as much as I do the tulips - probably even more so," Daniels said.

That appreciation is certainly reciprocated.

"What a guy!" said another visitor to the tulips, Judy Pinchuk. "It's not just the flowers. It's the man. It's what he's done for us."

The secret to Daniels' success isn't in the soil. It's in the back of his garage. Before he plants the bulbs they spend weeks chilling in an old refrigerator. It's a bit of a trick - the bulbs are convinced they're really somewhere further north.

"At least in a colder climate than we have," Daniels said.

For those in colder climates who see tulips as a welcome sign of spring, it may seem unfair that Southern California can have all this beauty without enduring the bitter cold of winter.

But the nasty winter in much of the country finally appears to be ending. So take this peek at Daniels' flowers - wherever you are - as a gift from California: a preview of a much deserved springtime.
  • CBSNews

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Follow Us

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

On Twitter