If you’re feeling a bit battered and buffeted by the recent gales, then it’s good to know that spring is just around the corner. A few more weeks and everything will begin to unfold, unfurl and reach skywards. Certainly in sunnier, south facing front gardens and on roadside verges, the first daffodil tips are already beginning to push their spear-like leaves through the earth – and who doesn’t love a daff’? But if you really want to see them in all their glory – in golden swathes, nodding in the wind – there are a few renowned gardens and reserves where you can ‘wander lonely as a cloud’ to your heart’s content.
Mottisfont Abbey, owned by the National Trust has a really inspiring winter garden full of scent, fiery colour and form, but come the spring the scene is transformed with nodding daffodils, crocus and tulips, which grow not only in the winter gardens but also along the margins of the beautiful, chalky river test. A real treat! To find out more about planning your visit, see the website.
There’s always something to see and be inspired by at Wisley, and daffodils are no exception. As the flagship garden of the RHS the garden has plenty of spaces and areas where daffodils really shine. The wild garden, rock garden and seven acres gardens all have lovely daffodil displays, and throughout the garden you’ll be able to spot favourite varieties and see them used in different ways. Daffodils are also grown in the trial beds – a great place to see which varieties are good ‘all-rounders’. For more information on vistiting and seeing the garden in spring, visit the website.
Most of the daffodils we’ll see this spring are likely to be cultivars of garden varieties, but there are a few places around the UK where you can enjoy the site of our native daffodil. Once common, their numbers have declined over the years due to habitat loss and (at one time) over-picking. So, for those of you who love a daff’, here’s a few places to spot them in the wild.
Dunsford Nature Reserve, Devon – A beautiful riverside walk near Dartmoor, brightened by wild daffodils in the spring.
Gwen and Vera’s Fields – Gloucestershire – A great name for a small but wonderful little reserve, that holds one of the last collections of wild meadow daffodils in the area.
Stocking Springs Wood – Hertfordshire – A small, beautiful wood which showcases how to coppice manage woodland.