Dancing Daffodils

When all at once I saw a crowd, A host of golden daffodils

William Wordsworth, “I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud”

A wonderful sight travelling to the Forest of Dean, wild daffodils dancing in the breeze. These amazing little flowers were carpeting woods, edging fields and running and spilling along lanes. They are gorgeous.

This area of Gloucestershire is famous for its daffodils.

Around the village of Dymock there are daffodils weekends through the woods, this sounds wonderful.

This extract is from the Dymock poets website;

The area between May Hill and the Malvern Hills is most famous for its wild daffodils, which once grew in profusion in the meadows and woods. Despite changes in farming practices there are still many places where wild daffodils can be seen in late March and early April. The villages of Dymockin Herefordshire and Kempley in Gloucestershire organise guided walks and other events on their ‘daffodil weekends’.

The wild daffodil,Narcissus pseudonarcissus, was once a common sight in England, but intensive agricultural practices and use of chemicals has led to them becoming less common.

The area around Dymock was known as the golden triangle because there were so many daffodils.The Golden Triangle used to be a commercial centre for daffodils which were picked by local people, including school children, and sent to London by train to be sold at the major flower markets and delivered to hospitals. These pickers were immortalised by the Ledbury poet John Masefield:

And there the pickers come, picking for town
Those dancing daffodils; all day they pick;
Hard-featured women, weather-beaten brown,
Or swarthy-red, the colour of old brick.

In the 1930s special trains bought people to see the daffodils, after the war the changes in agriculture caused the decline of the daffodils in meadows however with conservation work the daffodil is flourishing.

Here are some photos from the Gloucestershire website , I am returning to this area this week for some exploring in the wonderful woods. Watch this space !!

A little more about the wild daffodil –

it is commonly known as the ‘Lent Lily’ for its long association with Easter celebrations, the Wild Daffodil got its Latin name, Narcissus, from an Ancient Greek myth. Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water, becoming so obsessed that he fell in and drowned. The nodding head of the Wild Daffodil embodies Narcissus bending over the water and it’s said that the first flower sprang from where he died.

The flower structure:-

Here is a herbarium specimen from Herefordshire collected in 1931 , the time of the daffodil special trains .

Looking forward to Thursday and walking in these woods !!

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