Saving For The Future – Yellow Gold

Daffodils remind me of my great-grandmother. She always referred to the golden beauties as Jonquils, a name you’re more likely to hear in the American south, and one which actually refers a variety of the Narcissus flower. I think she would have been very impressed with the mix of daffodils growing in and out of the Cornish hedges. For the longest time I thought that like many flowers they had hitchhiked their way to the hedges, forgetting that they are bulbs and as far as I know, must be planted.

John watched a television program the other night that explained why there are so many different types of daffs improving the views in our narrow lanes. Before WWII, loads of daffodils were grown in Cornwall and exported for sale with bright fields of different varieties harvested each year by hand.

The picture below is one from the National Trust website for Cotehele and shows the harvest.

Photo Credit - National Trust

From Field to Hedge

During WWII, Britain’s food was mostly homegrown so the daffodil fields were quickly changed to fruit and vegetables. When the bulbs were taken out of the soil to make room for something more edible, the farmers didn’t want to waste them so they put them into the hedges where many varieties from before the war still grow every spring.

While it’s not the kind of gold that can fund your retirement, I’m going to enjoy the blooms that much more knowing the history of how they came to be there.

7 thoughts on “Saving For The Future – Yellow Gold

  1. Squirrels rearrange bulbs in this area and I have a lot of squirrels! They also make a lot of noise running on my nearly flat roof. When I first moved here I thought a man was on my roof and it was just a squirrel!

  2. The Isles of Scilly and ‘The Golden Mile’ – roughly from Crowlas to Penzance in west Cornwall – are renowned for the crops of daffodils and other flowers and vegetables grown there. The Isles of Scilly, (‘The Fortunate Isles’), have produced early flowers for the ‘dark satanic mills’ of Britain for a century or more. A beautiful and unforgettable part of the world! Once visited, never forgotten.

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