Sara Van Beck
An avid gardener and daffodil aficionado, midtown Atlanta resident Sara Van Beck is widely regarded as one of the South's foremost daffodil authorities.

A love for daffodils was instilled in Sara by her father, John C. Van Beck, a native of Chicago, who moved to Florida in 1946.  Fascinated that daffodils thrived on old northern Florida homesteads while purchased bulbs often met their demise, John was determined to ascertain which bulbs could tolerate the conditions of South Georgia and North Florida and learn what those daffodils might have in common with the prospering bulbs on long neglected properties and among the farmhouse ruins.  Intending to publish his test garden findings in a book, John passed away before his project could be completed.

With her mother, Linda Van Beck, Sara co-authored Daffodils in Florida:  A Field Guide to the Coastal South, a comprehensive book they describe as "the culmination of  years of methodical effort and data collecting by the late John C. Van Beck in his quest to determine what daffodils would grow in north Florida and why."

A past regional director of the American Daffodil Society and current chairperson of the ADS's Historics Committee, Sara has served as president of the Georgia Daffodil Society.  Her involvement with the GDS has included managing the organization's historic daffodil program at Atlanta's Oakland Cemetery, the final resting place of Gone With the Wind author Margaret Mitchell and golfing legend Bobby Jones.

Frequently a spokesperson for the GDS, Sara has been interviewed on several occasions by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, always striving to enlighten the public about the wonderful world of daffodils.

As a writer, Sara is a regular contributor to The Daffodil Journal, the quarterly publication of the ADS, as well as Magnolia, the bulletin of the Southern Garden History Society.  Additionally, her writing has appeared in Florida Gardener, and a photograph by Sara even accompanied a March 13, 2008 Atlanta Journal-Constitution piece by garden writer Martha Tate.

Van Beck's Contributions to Southern Edition

Article:  Daffodils for the Deep South, Published June 8, 2008

Article:  Daffodils in Early Southern Gardens, Published March 27, 2009

Article:  South Carolina and the History of American Daffodils, Published March 27, 2012

Photograph:  untitled image of
Narcissus 'Ornatus' in bloom at the former Jones Floral Farm near Calhoun, Georgia, appeared  in "Daffodils in Early Southern Gardens" on March 27, 2009

Photograph:  untitled image of daffodils at Mountain Shoals Plantation, Enoree, South Carolina, appeared in "South Carolina and the History of American Daffodils" on March 27, 2012

Author:  Greg Freeman.  Last updated on March 28, 2012.

Southern Edition

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