Friday, March 09, 2007

Daffodil designs

It is the season for early daffodils and these are an unmissable feature of the road through Whatlington just now. Some, as one of the pictures shows, are deployed in fairly naturalistic drifts, others are in straight lines which, alongside roads, hedges, telegraph wires and other manifestations seems as though people want to geometrise the countryside.

The daffodils in these pictures look like Cyclamineus hybrids and do have a greater elegance than the heavy headed show-stoppers that appear later on. I always wonder why people do not plant more of our native species, Narcissus pseudonarcissus, the kind made famous in Wordsworth's poem. They still grow wild in places in Sussex but are nowhere near as common us they used to be. Unlike cultivated forms, they will seed themselves modestly and can eventually cover many acres in churchyard, lakeside or light woodland. Trouble is, like most good things, they cost more than popular modern hybrids and those looking for "a splash of colour" seem to think any sort of daffodil gold will do.