13 Sep 2019

Dick Booth, guardian of the daffodils

From Country Life, 9:15 pm on 13 September 2019

Back in the 19th century, 86-year-old Dick Booth's great-grandfather set off a daffodil tradition on the family farm – since then Booth bulbs have raised thousands for local charities. 

Dick's great-grandfather, Alfred, bought Middlerun Farm near Carterton in 1889, and began importing bulbs from Holland and propagating his own varieties.

A century ago, his son William Henry Booth (Dick's grandfather) set aside a farm paddock for growing the bulbs.

In the 1920s, Alice Booth (Dick's grandmother) marshalled local ladies to pick the blooms to send to Wellington for sale and to earn money for the local Plunket Society.

Later, in the 1950s, the paddock was opened to the public, allowing people to pick their own bunch.

Now, throngs of people visit Middlerun every year on Carterton Daffodil Day to pick the blooms, many arriving by vintage steam train from Wellington.

The funds raised continue to benefit the Plunket and St John charities.