Has come to town
In a yellow petticoat
And a green gown.
That nursery rhyme may have been my introduction to the humble daffodil. What a miracle and joy it is to see such bright yellow flowers burst from dull brown bulbs to bloom defiantly through wind, hail, snow and rain!
What do you associate daffodils with? 1st March – St David’s Day – and countless daffodils, one of Wales’ emblems, line the Principality’s grass verges.
Of all the many varieties of daffodils, the most rugged are the little tete-a-tetes that, by staying close to the ground, manage to stay upright in even the fiercest storms. My mother’s pride and joy was her rockery of tete-a-tetes, alongside purple crocuses and heathers, all lovingly planted by her green fingers.
Two years ago daffodils were in danger of being trampled on by massed ranks of journalists who plonked themselves on grassy banks of daffodils near Salisbury’s ambulance station during the Novichok incident. Today those daffodils are basking in sunshine, none the worse for being invaded.
William Wordsworth’s observations resulted in his well-known and well-loved poem:
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
If you’re struggling with the damaging effects of poor weather, battered by real or proverbial storms, maybe the thought or sight of a daffodil can bring joy. There is comfort in the regularity of nature’s cycle: summer’s blooming, autumn’s retirement, winter’s dormancy, and spring’s rebirth.