Spring means Yellow Daffodils. Or does it?

Daffodils in Liz's gardenOn Friday 5th April, driving to Monmouth for a Society of Authors’ meeting, I was ambushed by yellow daffodils. Everywhere. But then, Monmouth IS in Wales and the daffodil is the flower of Wales.

However, the ones shown right were in Liz’s garden. Thank you for the pic, Liz. They’re lovely.

As you drive down the A40 dual carriageway from Ross-on-Wye to Monmouth, there are daffodils, thousands of them, on the verges. In places, the central reservation is both wide and steep—we are blessed (?) with loads of hills round here—and even those vast banks are covered in yellow daffodils.

Be quick if you want to see them, though.
They’re starting to go over, especially where they’re in full sun.
Sun? Wot’s sun, I hear you cry? We only have rain 🙁 True. More on that later.

Yellow and only yellow?

creamy double daffodilsYes, I also know the flowers aren’t always yellow. Indeed, I have creamy-coloured ones in my kitchen at the moment, as you can see (right).

But most of the daffodils on the roadsides round here are the standard yellow—bright, intense, uplifting. Sadly, the best displays are on roads like the A40 where it’s not possible to stop to take photographs so you’ll have to take my word for it. However, this image of Llancloudy, a local village lined with daffodils from end to end, shows you what it’s like. Gorgeous, isn’t it? (The sun was kind enough to shine for this pic. Clearly not taken this year.)

roadside daffodils Llancloudy Wales

Llancloudy: nearly in Wales allenpaul1000 stock.adobe.com

Yellow, the colour of sunshine, always seem so cheering, doesn’t it? I love seeing the daffodils, especially where they’re set against that wonderfully fresh spring green as the trees begin to come into leaf. All clean, bright, new. Lifts the heart. Can also inspire the writing soul.

Does it have to be yellow, though?

There is a lot of yellow about, true. But there’s a lot of white, as well. Wild cherries are blooming. I took this close-up in my own garden a few years ago, but it looks much the same now.
Or it would, if the sun were shining. Sighing, again, at that.cherry blossom Spring coloursMany of the white-blossomed trees and shrubs aren’t native, of course. Like this amelanchier in my garden. The picture was taken against a blue sky but it didn’t last. Yes, it soon came on to rain. Again!amelanchier in blossomSo here’s a close-up of the gorgeous amelanchier blossom, from a previous year!

amelanchier canadensis blossom in springWhite can shade into pink, of course. This is my neighbour’s huge magnolia against a background of bare branches (and another grey sky).

And I do have pink in my own garden, in spite of the rain. This is a picture I took of my pink camellia back in January. It’s still flowering now, in the first week of April. Not a lot of blooms, but a few. I love it for that.pink camellia January 2024However, the single pink flowers are totally outgunned by the stunning double red camellia next to it. I think it’s camellia x williamsii “Les Jury” but I can’t quite remember. Its flowering season is much shorter—one month, rather than three—but you definitely can’t miss it. Like those yellow daffodils, it zings.

     

So clearly, I’m wrong to be saying yellow is the colour of spring.
Or am I?

A lot of native colour is yellow…

table for tea in gardenIt’s cheating, I’d say, to use the pinks and reds I’ve shown above. They’re not native. The magnolia comes from Asia. The amelanchier is from North America. And the beautiful camellia is also from Asia. Such a wonderful plant, especially as it produces tea, from camellia sinensis. Where would we Brits be without that?

vase of tulips, yellow, flame, purpleHowever, I’ve missed out tulips, originally native to southern Europe, among other places.

This gorgeous bunch, mostly yellow 😉 I have to say, were a gift that graced my kitchen for quite a while. I dare say we all know the tales of the Dutch tulip mania of the 17th century when prices reached astronomical levels for single bulbs.

They’re much more reasonable nowadays, thankfully, so it’s easy to raise a cheerful pot of them. Or a garden full?

More yellow but not daffodils…

As I drove home from Monmouth, I realised that there’s more to a yellow spring than daffodils.

For a start, where the verges didn’t have daffodils, they had dandelions. They’re weeds to some, but a salad crop to others. (Beware not to consume too much. The French don’t call it piss-en-lit for nothing.)

In my own village, we have bright yellow marsh marigolds. Loads of them. This is one of our single-track roads, lined with them. Since in quantity they cause gastric problems, animals don’t eat them and they thrive to delight us from year to year. A great plus.

On the minus side, I’m sure you’ll note the standing water on the road. And you may not be surprised to learn that the puddles conceal potholes.

Yes, we’ve had vast amounts of rain this winter. One of our local roads has been closed because of flooding. First time that’s happened since we came here over 20 years ago. So it’s pretty bad.

I’ll finish with more of my cheery marigolds.

I love this image because it’s tantalising. What’s up that footpath? Doesn’t it look inviting? A writer could easily manufacture a twisty tale about what happens at the end of it.

I’ll leave you with that uplifting thought, rather than the reality which is, I’m sorry to say, mud and brambles.

While the wind and rain closes in again, we’re better off with our inner fantasies, don’t you think? Especially as, this weekend, we have scary Storm Kathleen to contend with.

I hope very much that everyone keeps safe and your lights stay on.

Joanna Maitland author

Joanna

PS I couldn’t resist including this pic, taken yesterday (Friday) in Monmouth itself. Not yellow. Not daffodils, either. It’s one of the many, many trees in this part of the world that are host to mistletoe. I’d add that, in spite of what’s said in Asterix, I’ve never seen mistletoe on a oak tree in my part of the world. France is clearly different…?mistletoe on a Monmouth tree

9 thoughts on “Spring means Yellow Daffodils. Or does it?

  1. lesley2cats

    And wot about forsythia? Everywhere, in my neck of the woods. Daffodils are absolutely my favourite flower and I’m facing an enormous bunch right now.

    Reply
    1. Joanna Post author

      Well, we need to cheer up a bit, if only to stop thinking of the incessant rain. But I do pity the farmers. Round here, there’s standing water in many of the fields so ploughing or planting must be impossible.

      Reply
  2. Liz Fielding

    Love the daffodils and blossom at this time of the year, Joanna so thank you for a tour of your part of the world. I have a vivid memory from my years spent in Wales of the graveyards filled with daffodils left families paying their respects on Palm Sunday. And your last photograph reminded me immediately of the opening paragraph of the Mary Stewart’s The Moonspinners — there wouldn’t have been a egret, but maybe a robin inviting you to adventure?

    Reply
  3. Sarah Mallory

    Thank you for that uplifting post, Joanna. What a lovely taste of spring you have given us. Currently sitting out Storm Kathleen in an island hotel, and the lashing rain has flattened the lovely daffodils around the lawns…I wish someone had picked them all and put them in vases, but never mind. They will be back next year.

    Reply
    1. Joanna Post author

      Yes, that’s the beauty of perennial plants (and bulbs). They do keep coming back to delight us. Stay safe up there in the middle of the storm. And comfort yourselves, if liked, with the local tipple…

      Reply

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