Friday, March 1, 2013

A Multitude of Daffodils for St David's Day

St David's Day. I am not Welsh so I have no need to celebrate but it does give me an excuse to share this old photograph of the front vista of Orchards, taken in the 1960s (I guess).  So to any Welsh visitors this is to wish you a Happy St David's Day with a multitude of daffodils.

This photograph was taken from one of the bedrooms looking down the front vista. The greenness to the left, is a large clump of 'pheasant eye' narcissus which always flowered later than all the others, useful, in that they detracted from the untidiness of the other foliage, which had to be left at least six weeks before cutting down. Despite the brown dying foliage I loved these areas as the wild flowers and the grass took advantage and growing tall and flowering.

There were a few wild daffodils to the far left of the picture, which were in situ when Gay and Arthur arrived. The varieties grown were varied, reaching flower maturity at different times. When Gay ran a smallholding from Orchards, these were picked and packed and sold not only to the local nursery and shops but taken to London to be sold at Covent Garden where many of the bulbs were first bought. I still have the bulb planter that was used during this time. A garden tool that I too have used on many occasions.

In the far distance a grey roof can be seen. This property was on the furthest side of the Turners Hill Road some distance away. They didn't own all the land in between, but there is a notable difference in similar photographs taken decades later, when the trees have matured and blocked out the view. The innocent dark green blob to the right, is a juniper which spread its lower branches far into the vista and the cone shape nearby is a variegated holly, which decades later did the same. When Philip and I were working in the garden this holly too, had spread lax branches to the ground and layered. The only way we could deal with it, was to raise the canopy and mow over the baby hollies. A very unusual ground cover. 


  1. My grandad grew pheasant eye daffs. Usually he did the edible stuff while Grandma grew the flowers, but he allowed himself the occasional flowering plant 'for the bees'.