Daffodils

Daffodils at White Craggs By Tony RichardsDaffodils by Ullswater By Graeme Dougal


 

 

 

 

It was the poet William Wordsworth who made famous Lakeland's wild daffodils in his Ode to the Daffodils.

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

Daffodils Oughriggtarn By Tony RichardsThe daffodils he is referring to were discovered on a walk in the woods at Goosebarrow Park by Ullswater. His inspiration for his poem, written two years after sighting them, came from his sister Dorothy's notes made on the walk with her brother. In fact, the poem closely resembles the notes.

The daffodils still bloom here, but their numbers are somewhat less than they were during Wordsworth's time. Wordsworth planted, at Rydal Mount, his last home, a field of daffodils and named it after his daughter, Dora. The field sits between the house and the church at the bottom of the hill.

Daffodils Rydal By Tony RichardsCountry lanes are often lined with daffodils, and walkers will spot them scattered in other Lakeland scenery.

The word daffodil comes from a Greek word asphodelos due to a mistaken belief that it was the Mediterranean plant of that name. It was said to bloom in the spring as a symbol of the yearly return of Persephone, Queen of Hell, to Earth.

Daffodils are on display in a number of flower shows throughout England. On the 3rd Saturday and Sunday in March there is an Ambleside Spring Flower and Daffodil Show.

Ambleside Horticultural and Craft Society
Web: www.ambleside-show.org.uk
Email: info@ambleside-show.org.uk
Tel. (0)15394 32252

Note: Please check opening times and dates before visiting in case of changes.

Photos courtesy of Graeme Dougal and Tony Richards

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