Wednesday, 21 March 2012
Daffy down dilly has come to town,
With her yellow petticoat and a green gown.
It's lovely to see so many daffodils around along with a lot of bumblebees. On my trip back from the Forest of Dean I had to stop and take a photo of a rather distant field just striking up with bright yellow flashes..
..and the lovely banks of Newnham on Severn.
The Latin name for a daffodil is narcissus, named after a boy who loved his reflection so much that he wouldn't stop looking at himself in his reflection in the river. He either fell into the water and drowned or daftly died of starvation ! A daffodil sprung from the ground where he died. It is the symbol of unrequited love after the story.
It is also the symbol of deceit after the story telling that while Proserpine was busy picking daffodils she was grabbed by Pluto and taken to the underworld. All a bit sad when it is such a cheery flower , but its not all bad and is said to bring lots of good luck to homes with large bunches of them. The daffodil is the symbol of Hope for the Macmillan Charity, and is the national flower of Wales. It's also the county flower of Gloucestershire, The Golden Triangle near Newent is famous for its wild Daffodils. The Druids see it as a sign of purity and the Chinese decorate their homes in Chinese New Year.
I remember a friend telling me that when her family travelled in Gypsy wagons they used to stop and pick daffodils to sell door to door....'calling'. After picking they used to put them in a bath of warm water to get them to open and make them easier to sell. ( Daffying- to go picking Daffodils )
It was a Covent Garden nurseryman called Peter Barr (1826-1909) who inspired the Victorians with the love of Daffodils, thus leading to the famous poem by William Wordsworth. Here it is read by on utube.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQnyV2YWsto&feature=related
I do have big splashy Daffs in my garden but after reading this article http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1265084/I-hate-daffodils--says-wild-flower-lover-launching-man-campaign-rid-countryside-mass-produced-bulbs-look-like-lipstick-Mona-Lisa.html
I decided to get some wild daffodil bulbs from www.naturescape.co.uk to plant in my garden. My garden is rather wild with primroses, cowslipsjust in bud, bluebells springing up, one nettle bed (makes lovely tea. Fill a teapot to the top with the fresh tops of new nettles, add boiling water and pour. Add honey to taste...I like it but I do remember a friend spitting it out saying it was the most disgusting thing he'd ever drunk...or similar words ) ) and the odd bramble !