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Thousands of bulbs planted with dreams of daffodil glory

City employees and volunteers kicked off a citywide bulb planting program yesterday, with a goal of about 121,000 bulbs eventually planted along public ways and in parks. Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

Thousands of bright yellow, star-shaped daffodils will blossom next spring on medians and greenways across the city and in front of community centers and libraries where droves of volunteers and city workers buried bulbs yesterday morning.

Mayor Thomas M. Menino - who ordered about eight times as many flowers as last year as part of his Boston Blooms initiative - said the 121,000 daffodils will adorn the pockets of unpaved space throughout the city and signify the thaw of the cold season.

“It’s a good way to make people feel like winter’s over, spring is here,’’ the mayor said in a brief telephone interview. “I think it’s a very economic way of making the city more beautiful.’’

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Volunteers from 76 organizations, including civic groups and libraries, planted about 30,000 of their 40,000 bulbs yesterday, digging down six inches in unpaved spots around Boston, while city workers planted most of another 81,000.

The rest of the perennials will be planted by next weekend.

“Everyone is looking forward to spring. You want to see the fruits of your labor, so they’re excited about it,’’ said Patrice Gattozzi, director of Hyde Park Main Streets, a civic group that planted daffodils throughout Hyde Park - at a firehouse, an open parking lot, and other green spaces. “They’re always one of the first flowers to bloom.’’

She said they buried about 1,250 of the 1,500 bulbs granted to them by the city yesterday.

“So that’s, what, just another 38,000 more to go?’’ she said, laughing.

Dot Joyce, the mayor’s press secretary, said the program was meant to beautify the less herbaceous Boston neighborhoods. Three downtown civic associations are receiving bulbs, along with dozens of groups from Dorchester, Roxbury, and the South End.

“Everyone is so used to seeing the flowers in Copley Square and the Public Garden,’’ Joyce said. “But we want to get them out in the neighborhoods.’’

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Buying the bulbs in bulk for the volunteers decreased the price of each flower, and Jason Woods, the program director for Boston Parks and Recreation, said the city might buy bulbs again next fall.

“Next year we can do another 40,000 if it’s in the budget,’’ he said.


Alexander C. Kaufman can be reached at akaufman@globe .com. Follow him on Twitter @AlexCKaufman.