Friday, 27 August 2010

Today is Daffodil Day

and daffodils will be sold in many places to raise money for the Cancer Council. It is particularly fitting because we go to the funeral of Dad's godson today.
The daffodils sold will mostly be of the plain yellow variety that I believe are called King Arthur.
They are the sort of daffodils I believe you can still buy in small bunches from street vendors in London and no doubt many other places. They are a little less common here because our climate is a little warm for bulbs. You need to put tulip bulbs in the 'fridge to 'wake them up' and perhaps other bulbs as well. We just leave our daffodil bulbs in the ground and they seem to come up each year. At the moment there is just one daffodil out, one of the plain yellow variety.
I suspect that these plain yellow daffodils are what most people (who know the poem at all) associate with Wordsworth's host of golden daffodils too.
They are wonderful, cheerful flowers. On one occasion I was given a bunch by a fellow student in London. His name was "Benjy". He was well over seven feet tall and hailed from Jamaica. I used to proof read Benjy's essays so that, as he put it, he would not sound "Jamaican". He rarely did but there were some occasional little oddities that I rather liked. He was a nice man, desperately homesick for his wife and five children. He really could not even afford daffodils but I accepted them and cherished their brilliant colour on a very grey day.
There will be daffodils of all sorts at 'the Show' where I was helping with the judging yesterday. They will range from almost white, through all shades lemon, yellow, gold, mustard, mandarin and orange. They will all be beautiful, along with many other beautiful flowers and plants. As they are at the other end of the big hall which holds the crafts I will possibly see some of them as I do my turn on duty. I can arrive early and take my time walking even more slowly than usual through the hall. By the end of the week they will not look as fresh and I will, as always be saddened by the transitory nature of the beauty of cut flowers.
Each of them however is a small work of art. I tell myself if we had them forever we would not respect them - and they deserve respect.

5 comments:

jtwebster books said...

We have Daffodil Day here in NZ too. I was out this morning and there were lots of bright bunches on street corners and in the mall.
There really is something bright and cheery about a daffodil, especially on a crisp but sunny, blue-skied day.

Sheep Rustler said...

I think I am going to a Daffodil Show at the weekend. We are going to visit the MIL and I was promised a quilt show and either an Orchid Show or a Daffodil Show, husband vague on that count. I love daffodils and I always support Daffodil Day, though now I usually buy a pen. We used to have a daffodil lawn in England, which was amazingly beautiful. I miss it. We don't have lawn here, we got rid of it years ago when the drought started to bite hard. (It has replaced itself with self-seeded native stuff, hardy and not needing watering and sheletering us from the road).

catdownunder said...

Oh I am glad you both like them as well. I saw some 'in the wild' in England - along with some bluebells - all terribly Wordsworthian I suppose but yes, I loved it!

Donna Hosie said...

We moved into our home a year ago and I have left the garden untouched because I wanted to see what surprises the seasons had for us.

One such surprise has been a gorgeous ring of double-headed daffodil's around the two oak trees in our front garden.

Now I know where everything is, I will spend the next year adding to the display.

catdownunder said...

Oh yes Donna - cherish them!