By Kia Clark.
The Daffodil goes by many names. Its botanical name, Narcissus, comes from Greek mythology. Narcissus was a beautiful young man who was tricked into falling in love with his own reflection. He is said to have leant over lakes to see his mirrored face, akin to the Daffodil’s arching stem. But whether you call them Lent Lilies or Daffodilly, the sunshine yellow flower is a sign of new beginnings.
She wore her yellow sun-bonnet,
She wore her greenest gown;
She turned to the south wind
And curtsied up and down.
She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour:
"Winter is dead.”
― A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young
The first sign of new life, the Daffodil makes its way above ground through wind, rain and snow to see the sun. The flower is strong and resilient, a reminder that even through the darkest of times, positivity can bloom.
Have you spotted any sprouting Daffodils yet?
While walking is about all we’re able to do right now, why not head out on a search for the green shoots?
Country File has compiled a list of Britain’s best daffodil walks, which will be alive with colour come March. Or better yet, grow your own sunshine! Daffodil bulbs can be planted in September or you can buy pre-potted plants at your local garden centre. They thrive just about anywhere, in pots, borders and grass.
Colours range from milky white to butter yellow and are guaranteed to brighten balconies, windowsills or flower beds. The Royal Horticultural Society can tell you more about planting your own golden garden.
The Daffodil has long inspired artistic minds to bring us poems such as:
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, by Wordsworth.
When We Were Very Young, by A.A. Milne.
And Paintings like Van Gogh’s:
Perhaps try your hand at some Daffodilly crafts in anticipation of Spring? A paper chain of yellow flowers hung in your window could easily brighten someone’s day!
To find out more about Daffodils check out this National Trust article or Country File’s Brief History of British Daffodils.
Spring is in the air! (well maybe soon)
Britain’s best daffodil walks, Country File
How to grow daffodils, RHS
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, Poetry Foundation
Daffodowndilly/When We Were Very Young, All Poetry
Van Gogh: Into the Undergrowth, Cincinnati Art Museum
Discovering daffodils: stories behind our favourite spring flower, National Trust
A brief history of British daffodils, Country File