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The Heralds of Spring.

daffodil

Daffodils.

They say gardening teaches patience and it must be true because I am on the whole a fairly impatient person. Once I’ve had an idea I want to crack on with it and get it up and running. If things drag because of boring practicalities I run out of steam and move on to something else.

But with the garden, with plants, I do seem to have a kind of patience, though it’s probably not the saintly sort. The truth is I am usually too busy gardening to notice that things take time to grow. Having a big garden, once I’ve planted a border, I move on to another and then another and another, so by the time I revisit the first one things have started looking pretty good. “Gosh well done!” I exclaim and enjoy the show.

daffodil cartoon

In Autumn last year I planted nearly 3000 bulbs and they all came up so late so I feel I’ve been quite patient enough thank you. This year looks better!

To be fair, there are some sweet little beauties out there bravely facing the weather. And they really are so brave. In the cold they bend over as if trying to climb back into the cosy ground and then pop back up with their petals barely harmed, throwing their heads back in the breeze – laughing at the cold. Even after being buried under snow, they still seem to shrug it off and carry on shining brightly as if they’re trying to cheer the rest of us up and keep us believing in Spring.

 

Narcissus Rip Van Winkle
Narcissus Rip Van Winkle

My brother-in-law, a self-confessed non-gardener said to me “A daffodil is a daffodil isn’t it?”  There are so many different varieties to choose from and it is one of the great pleasures of October to sit with a catalogue and choose the ones I’m going to plant. Properly called narcissi there are many ‘divisions’ and varieties, but everyone recognises a daffodil and they need no other name to enjoy them. And here in Pembrokeshire we can take particular pride in the fact that they may well be named after our own Patron Saint – Dafydd’s Dil. Not sure where the Dil bit comes from (they say possibly from Asphodel but they don’t look very alike to me) but it’s a good story to stick to if you live in Pembrokeshire.

Usually Pembrokeshire is an excellent place to grow daffodils and there are several farms here that still do and sell boxes of them direct by box to the buyer or to retailers. Nevertheless do come and see what I’ve managed to produce some time in April – because Spring must surely be here by then……

Thanks to Evgenia Golubeva for the cartoon.

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Sarah Wint

Sarah Wint

Sarah Wint has been gardening for 24 years and is still learning. In 2015 she toured the country in her old campervan ‘Daisybus’ visiting gardens and finding stories about how gardens have affected people’s lives which she tells in the book ‘Sunshine Over Clover – Gardens of Wellbeing’. In 2016 Sarah and her husband, ecologist William, moved to the St Davids Peninsula and started making another garden.

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