Daffodil time

On the road from Ripon to Harrogate

I had a very pressing reason for wanting to come back to England for a few weeks.  I couldn’t wait for April, much less May.  The March heat wave made me worry that already I might be too late: I needed to see daffodils.

Of course the French have daffodils in their gardens too. Well, some people do.  You can even find them, delicate and lemon-hued up in the woods.  But nothing to compare with our English exuberance.

Here, regiments of daffodils march down the edges of inner-city dual carriageways.  Swathes of them along the verges announce the entrance to almost every town.  Shopping centres have great tubs full.  Gardens, whether tiny gravelled spaces in front of town terraces, cottage style plots, or more extensive lawned affairs, all boast generous clumps of brilliant yellow trumpets swaying in the breeze.

From the top of the bus passing through Ripley

Nothing else makes me so aware that winter’s on the way out.  Not the blossom slowly unfurling on the trees, nor the spears of green thrusting through the soil and moss on every country walk, and in every garden.  Of course I love these too.  But for me, nothing but those bright assertive confident flowers can state quite so definitely – even defiantly – ‘Spring is here!’

The Old College, Ripon

10 thoughts on “Daffodil time”

  1. The profusion of daffodils is one of the very few things that I miss England for. But I’m doing my best to recreate it in our garden. By the way, let me know when you are back in Ariège and we can arrange to get a rhubarb plant to you.

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    1. I might have guessed you’d have daffodils. Just before I left for the UK, I picked some precious rhubarb stalks to feed an English guest….took my eye of the ball…and burnt them. Aaagh. Back at the beginning of May, at which point I’d love to meet. And maybe cadge an invitation to see your garden?

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      1. Of course you can come and see the garden. Email me when you are back and we will set something up. I will pot the rhubarb up into a bigger pot since its obviously going to be a few weeks before you get it. Mind you, I’m not sure I want to give one of my babies to someone who burns them!!!

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  2. It’s snowdrops which do it for me. By the time the daffs are out the garden already seems to be getting away from me. Once they arrive in full (always a few early ones) they’re competing with the magnolias, camelias, bluebells ………….I’ve failed dismally to get them established in our garden in Aigues-Vives but primroses, another firm favourite, do really well.

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    1. I agree about snowdrops being wonderful too. But as they’re omnipresent in Pay’s d’Olmes (think the riverbank on the way into Dreuilhe) I’m not obliged to go into deep mourning.

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