Helen Link's Daffodils - A Living Legacy

Goethe Link, one of the founders of the IU School of Medicine and himself a practicing surgeon until his 88th year, bought his wife Helen a bushel of daffodil bulbs one day in the 1940s, thinking they would be a welcome addition to their 50-acre home high on a hill south of Mooresville. The property was also the home to a full size observatory Dr. Link had built in the 1930s that was being used by the Indiana University Astronomy Department as well as by Dr. Link himself.

Helen, whose fondness for daffodils went back to childhood and memories of her mother, planted about a thousand bulbs over the next several years, but that was just the beginning. Over the years, she developed many of her own hybrids and at its peak, there were 17 acres and 1,100 varieties of daffodils in bloom each spring, including the bulbs Goethe brought home all those years ago. But no matter how many thousands of daffodils there were, Helen always knew her favorite, "the first one that blooms!"

Goethe Link (1879 - 1981) and Helen Link (1912 - 2002) are buried on the east side of Section 67. Now owned by Indiana University and maintained by the Indiana Daffodil Society, her field of daffodils is open to the public each weekend in April, as well as Dr. Goethe's observatory. (Directions to both are at the bottom of the page.) 

Above is the monument for Goethe and Helen Link, surrounded by dozens of Helen's daffodils. It's located on the east side of Section 67. Her daffodils were planted by the Indiana Daffodil Society.

 Helen working among her thousands of daffodils.

 Helen's daffodils surround the Greek statue Persephone at Crown Hill and were also planted by the Indiana Daffodil Society.

The photo above represents a small area of the Link gardens as they look today. Below are just a few of the thousands of daffodils that Helen planted throughout the years. 



Photos: Mrs. Link's photo İLinda Seyfried. All remaining photos
İMarty N. Davis and may not be copied or reproduced without permission.

Click here to read a New York Times article about Goethe and Helen Link.

Directions to the Helen Link Gardens and the Dr. Goethe Link Observatory
From Indianapolis, starting from the intersection of I-465 & HW 67, it's 15.4 miles to the gardens and observatory. (See a map HERE. Note the Link Observatory on the map; Helen's daffodils are to the south past the trees). It's easy to miss Observatory Road (there's no stop light), so look for Gray Bros. Cafeteria on the west side of HW 67 in Mooresville. Travel another 4.75 miles to Observatory Road and turn right. Drive another 1.3 miles to Observatory Lane and turn right again. The entrance to the Goethe Link Observatory and Daffodil Gardens is almost immediately on the right. (
The address is 8403 N. Observatory Lane, Martinsville, IN.) The gate may be locked if you go at other times than on weekends. It's open every weekend in April. PLEASE NOTE: The Crown Hill Staff has no information about the daffodils at the Link Gardens or their specific hours of operation. The Link Gardens are maintained by the Indiana Daffodil Society. We're sorry but we cannot assist you if you're seeking information about visiting there.