Down with the daffs

Is there anything lovelier than these beauties? They’re Narcissus ‘Actaea’ and their appearance each spring in the sloping border by our path cheers me up no end. The buds are a pale, buttery yellow but the flowers mature to a bright white which sets off the gorgeous orange centres beautifully. The scent is also delicious. It’s my number one, absolute favourite daffodil.

The village spring show is next Saturday and I’m hoping there will be enough still looking pristine so I can enter 3 stems (it has to be 3 stems, not 4 or 2!). There should also be plenty of tulips to enter (3 or 5, depending on the class). My younger son and daughter are both planning to enter a ‘Decorated cake for Easter’ in the hope of winning the coveted junior adult prize of £20. The eldest son is too old to enter and is enjoying this sibling rivalry. There’s been talk of complicated edible nest constructions with mini-eggs. It could get very messy. I’ll be busy helping to set up for the show, so they will have to negotiate an agreement over ingredients, equipment and oven use without me. I’m glad I’ll be out of the way.

I’ve been very slack recently, unable to muster enthusiasm for much which is not like me. I’m distracted, fidgety and irritable. I can’t blame it on the weather – it’s been a glorious week with properly warm, spring sunshine today – so I’ll blame it on Brexit (the whole thing frankly makes me very cross) and my hormones instead! David being away four days a week doesn’t help and I’ve not been doing enough fun stuff lately. More fun – that’s what we all need probably.

Enough with the moping, here are some more beautiful signs of spring in the garden.

Pear blossom on the verge of appearing with unfurling leaves.
Greengage blossom looking oh so beautiful.
Anemone coronaria ‘The Bride’. I absolutely love them.
Tulip ‘Sarah Raven’ with a geum and muscari in the background.
Tulip ‘can’t remember the variety but it’s lovely’.

It’s the last day of the school term tomorrow and the children will be on their Easter holidays. I’ve some paid and some voluntary work to do but otherwise I’m looking forward to a few more relaxed days. We don’t have any major plans – my brother and his family are visiting for a couple of days, David has the week before Easter off work and his mum is visiting us then. She has helped us so much in the garden over the years and we’re looking forward to showing her the progress we’ve made. Her drive and energy are quite astounding and I’m hoping some will rub off on me.

Have a lovely weekend x

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29 thoughts on “Down with the daffs

  1. You take the most stunning photos of your gorgeous plants Sam – I can almost sniff them. I think most gardeners are completely exhausted at this time of year and although every year I say I’m going to pace myself better there is always so much to do and I definitely don’t bounce back like I used to. Like you I think I’m juggling too much at the moment and over-committing to stuff – but honestly I’d rather be busy than not. When my children were teenagers and going to bed late I used to enjoy having an early bath and a long read. Have a lovely Easter break – I really miss the break in routine that the school holidays used to bring. Sarah x

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    1. Thank you, Sarah. Taking photos of plants is my favourite thing to do and a good antidote to feeling overwhelmed. I hope you’re enjoying this lovely spring weather in your allotment x

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  2. Your flowers are beautiful and you take such great photos of them. I understand how you’re feeling because I’ve felt that way a lot lately myself. I really need to have some more fun than I’ve been having, it’s all kind of blending together in a stressful, yet surprisingly boring tableau.

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  3. Lovely to see your Narcissus Actaea blooming so beautifully – think you deserve to win in your local show! I keep on planting them and Pheasant Eye (my very favourite) and they keep on disappearing … so disappointing … don’t know what I’m doing wrong . Nice to enjoy yours instead!

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  4. Brexit fury, hormones and lack of fun here too. And I shall be missing the local spring show. Good luck to all with their entries. What a gorgeous tulip that dark one is. I noticed that my pear blossom had just started to open yesterday. I’m not expecting many pears this year though – last year was a pear year, this year they’ll probably just lounge around not doing much. Hope you have a lovely Easter break. We have another week to wait for ours. I hope you’re feeling perkier very soon and full of energy and enthusiasm again. A slump is a horrible thing, I hope it passes quickly. CJ xx

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    1. We had a light pear year last year so I’m hoping for more this year. Slumps are very dull and I’m working on getting out of mine. Hope you have a good week, CJ – roll on the holidays!

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  5. Tulip could be Burnt Sugar??

    Just read a Brexit novel.
    Autumn by Ali Smith.

    For an outsider it gave me a deeper understanding.And I so much enjoyed reading it, that I read it again!

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  6. Your flowers look like prize winners to me! The retched squirrels have eaten every last one of my daffodil bulbs. There are so many negative things happening right now it’s hard to move forward. Hopefully spring will fill us all with a renewed sense of optimism. Hang in there!

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  7. Making a rare foray out of Instagram-land, which has rather claimed me from blogging! While I’ve lost the blogging urge myself, it is lovely to read through other blogs at leisure – like discovering a new novel. Your spring is so much further on than ours in Scotland. As I write I’m in Inverness for the weekend where the hills all round have patches of snow.
    Brexit seemed to go away for a bit, and it almost seemed as if it might have been a bad dream. But now with wretched Article 50 it’s back with a vengeance, and with its sidekick, the Scottish neverendum. So gardens and growing things are more essential than ever.

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    1. Hello Linda! How lovely to hear from you here. I hope you had a good weekend. You’re right – gardens and growing, and the small pleasures in our ordinary lives are a tonic.

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  8. Hope your mood lifts soon. I’ve been encouraged at how much mine does each time the sun pops out and coaxes more blooms and leaves to open. Still not enough here for me, so thank you for your gorgeous images. Good luck to all of your entries (yours and your youngsters’) — sounds like a fun event.

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  9. Narcissus Actaea reminds me so much of the Pheasant’s Eye narcissus which blooms later in Spring. I lose all of the latter to something, probably slugs. Perhaps I should try Actaea instead. I wish we had some of your sunshine, fleeting glimpses only separated by almost continuous rain. I never discovered I suffered from SAD until we moved to Devon. Hey ho.

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  10. Brexit (on your turf) and Trump antics (on our turf) have become ever-present nagging sources of depression and frustration. More fun may be an antidote for a time. Your flowers help, too.

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  11. Hope your mojo soon pops up and takes you surprise. I know you always look forward to those school holidays so hopefully that will help – but don’t overtire yourself setting up for that show! – and being amongst your lovely blooms too! Take care

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  12. I laughed at your Brexit comment but, seriously, I think a huge amount any anxiety or gloom I’ve felt over the last nine months can be attributed to that, and to bloody Trump. So thank goodness for daffodils, cake and spring fairs, frankly, to keep us grounded and sane. I didn’t know what they were called, but I’ve always loved those daffs with the white petals and orange centres – they remind me of eggs, which is kind of fitting when you thing that Easter is coming. We’ve got another week to go before the holidays, but do enjoy a lie in tomorrow and not having to dash out to do the school run first thing! xx

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    1. Ugh, I can’t imagine how I’d feel if I lived in the US right now. Anyway, yes, flowers, fairs, spring, cake… Good things to cheer us up. Hope this week flies by and you have a lovely Easter break x

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  13. It’s my favourite narcissus, too Sam. Lovely to see the pictures. (And actually both you and Jessica above remind me that the narcissus I put on my blog this week is NOT the poet’s narcissus, but ‘Actaea’ – flowering earlier! So thanks to you both. I have a pathetic memory and kept scratching my head about how the two were flowering at different times in the garden!)
    And your fruit blossoms lifted me up, so thanks! I do hope you are feeling more optimistic now – especially with the wonderful family week to look forward to. And all success at that flower show!

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  14. Good luck to you all with the spring show. You’ve chosen some right beautiful selections for your spring bulbs. Maybe I will have to get some T. ‘Sarah Raven’ after all. Enjoy your relaxation!

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