March of the daffodils

It hasn’t rained today. At last. For days, weeks straight, it has rained – and sleeted, snowed, hailed, and we have seen floods up and down the country. Here too, in my own town, where people still are clearing up the ravages of several weeks ago.

I cannot resist bringing in flowers at this time of year. Daffodils, for just £1 those ragged banners of sunny anticipation. Renowned proclaimers of spring. I can trim off the stems, feed them a drop of bleach, a slurp of 7Up, give them cool and mist, but they won’t last long. One bunch of narcissi were still-born, shrivelled before they could bloom. But I will buy more right up until they are in full bloom outside again. A little guiltily. How ethical are cut flowers? I tell myself it’s not so bad if they are seasonal, local, not air-freighted… They are hard to resist.

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“I love tulips better than any other spring flower; they are the embodiment of alert cheerfulness and tidy grace.” Elizabeth von Armin. I kept these until they yellowed and shed.

Spring is not, in general, my favourite season. I am in agreement with the writer and literary critic Cyril Connolly, that ‘Fallen leaves lying on the grass in the November sun bring more happiness than the daffodils.’ Autumn is my favourite. And I like winter well enough. We banked up the log fire last night, after a bracing day, and lit a dozen candles and burrowed in as the wind raged outside. But we need a break now, a calm, and some hope.

And in any case, it is St. David’s Day today. St David (Dewi Sant), native and Patron Saint of Wales, 1st March marking his death in 589 AD. The spring date makes the daffodil (or, less romantically perhaps, the leek) the Welsh national symbol. ‘ Lent-lily’ it was sometimes called in the 19th century, after the time of year it blooms here. And internationally, the daffodil is a representation of life and of optimism.

32 thoughts on “March of the daffodils

  1. My mother’s very favourite flower is a daffodil…….. personally I have soft spots for both bluebells and snow drops.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A galanthophile? It is hard not to transfer personalities onto flowers, and while the daffodil would be a aunt cheerleader in a ra-ra skirt, snow drops seem shy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 😀 Don’t go searching…. but somewhere on my WordPress the reader will see photos from a close by bluebell wood……. yep they do appear shy.

        Liked by 2 people

            1. Aha! Those photos make me keener for spring to come.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. “And then my heart with rapture fills,
    And dances with the daffodils.” – Wordsworth. That was one of the poems I put to memory 50+ years ago in high school. I have some that need cutting.

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    1. Perfect, just the best line in ‘Daffodils ‘.

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      1. Yes. Wordsworth. I always think of him This time of year.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Eloquently written; words as languid pools of thought.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Too kind. Thank you for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you… and, you’re quite welcome!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Jackie buys cut daffs because she doesn’t want to cut any from the garden

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am the same – with daffodils, it looks the most impressive to have a massed ‘host’ of them.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Bleach and 7-Up–never heard of those! Your daffodils are lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A tiny bit of bleach and sugar, apparently. I have tried it but not sure if there’s a difference!

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  6. I love spring and dislike fall. Maybe that’s why we have such a selection? So there’s something for everyone.
    Is the bleach/7UP thing a real one? I couldn’t tell if you were serious or not.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There seem to be many solutions (no pun intended) – a drop of bleach and sugar against microorganism, 7Up or Sprite, even vodka against wilting – but I am never sure if these work!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Daffodil. I always found that name weird. Don’t know why. We call them “jonquilles”. (Origin of the name unknown too)
    Spring? Isn’t it like “foreplay” to summer?
    😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Apparently it’s from Latin for the daffodil – or the narcissus, anyway, asphodelus (sort of works!) As for spring, many might say that period of “foreplay” is one of the best parts?

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      1. Latin. You don’t say? I always find the history of words so fascinating. And Jonquille comes from Spanish or Latin Jonc, or juncus, which is also another word in French…
        LOL. I thought you might pick up “Foreplay”. 🙂
        Take care my friend.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. We use juncus too, but I think it’s a sort of reed 😏

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Seven-up, hmmm. Never heard of that. I’m an autumn person too, but I’ll swap winter with spring. This one’s been already long enough. Can’t wait to take off some layers!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Everyone keeps reminding me that, apparently, it’s more likely to snow at Easter than Christmas here in UK – not this year, I hope!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. loved this line – “fallen leaves lying on the grass in the November sun bring more happiness than the daffodils.” and it makes me think how those leaves may have s story. to tell -❤️❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s a wonderful line, isn’t it. And yes, it speaks of so much more than the fallen leaves. Do those leaves symbolise something ending, or the shedding of an old skin to be able to start again?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What a beautiful thought again. 🌸🌸

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Very early spring this year… but I’m not able to enjoy it with all those “deadly-virus” news around 🦠🌚🌚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is true. Spent half today trying – failing – to cancel a spring trip to Poland with my daughu. Sad, and then feel bad for mourning a holiday when people are ill and afraid and bereaved. Take care!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Its sad…but I think we should prepare for worst.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Afraid so. Hard the bend the brain round it.

          Liked by 1 person

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