Sunday, 22 March 2015

Spring cleaning the shepherd's hut and welcoming the daffodils

Daffodils sing of spring and spring arrived this weekend in a glow of sunshine and yellow flowers.   I have been out in the garden all day long, spring cleaning the shepherd's hut and tidying and weeding everywhere. Spring hits me like this every year, giving me a great rush of energy and sending me outside at every opportunity.


All the furniture came out of the shepherd's hut, except for the built in sofa which folds down as a bed and everything was laid out on the grass.  I swept the hut out, wiped down all the woodwork and cleaned the windows.  Then back it all went.


Rugs were beaten, curtains shaken out, and the woodburning stove cleaned out.



Today I painted the door and tomorrow I will rub down and paint the windowframes, as long as it is dry.  I have a yen to change the cushions and the rug and to move from a palette of soft creams, pinks and greens to something in blue and yellow.  It must be spring!

As a break from cleaning and weeding I wandered around looking at the daffodils and seeing what is out.

The first daffodils to come out up here are the Welsh daffodil, known as the Tenby or narcissus obvallaris.  These are a small, upright daffodil with neat, slightly glaucous foliage.  we have hundreds of these, spreading around the trees in the little orchard.  I know that I planted five hundred bulbs and I am pretty sure they are spreading of their own accord these days.


Following close on the heels of the Tenby daffodil is February Gold.  I love the slightly swept back shape of the flower.   These crowd behind the swing in the field.  As time goes on they will be joined by Thalia, a creamy white daffodil, and Sweetness, a jonquil type with a delicious sweet scent.


Jack Snipe is coming out along the side of the drive and little Tete a Tete is blooming in the kitchen garden.


I have recently started to grow narcissus pseudonarcissus.  This is the British native daffodil, the dancing daffodil of the Wordsworth poem.  It is a graceful, delicate little daffodil, less sturdy than the Tenby.  So far these have not begun to settle and spread for me but I hope they do.


These are one of my favourites, Telamonius Plenus, an old double daffodil which has grown in cottage gardens since the early seventeenth century.  Later there will be narcissus poeticus, Pheasant's Eye.


This is an image from the RHS.  It will be a few weeks before mine are in flower.  I love how different the later flowering daffodils are from the early ones: pale rather than bright and with an open face rather than the hanging head or swept back petals of the earlier ones that I grow.

So for now it is daffodil time up here.  Even though there are so many I find myself visualising even more.  I think maybe there should be more up by the shepherd's hut....

48 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Me too! I have had it for a couple of years now but my pleasure in it doesn't fade.

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  2. What a wonderful shepherds hut!! Fabulous daffs too! xx

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    1. It has just been such a lovely weekend. Doesn't the weather make an extraordinary difference? The hut is great. Looking after it never feels like work!

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  3. What a delicious post, Elizabeth! It was interesting to see how you are preparing your charming Shepherd's Hut for the season. Your daffodil varieties are so pretty...great to see how many of the varieities have naturalized so very well.

    Now that we have Perhaps had our final snow, just as winter slipped away, I so hope to be seeing some local daffodils very soon. Your photographs have truly encouraged my spring fever.

    Thank you also for your reply to my comment on your prior post. I know that I would find north Wales spellbinding. I imagine that spring is one of its finest seasons.

    xo

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    1. I really love the smaller varieties of daffodil that are close to the species variety and they do seem to naturalise very well. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this will be as true for the Wordsworth daffodil as it is for the Welsh one!

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  4. What a cozy place that Shepherd's Hut is! Who gets to stay there? Is it your private hideout?

    Looks like the sun got you truly energized :-). Spring has sprung! Those daffodils are sun all by themselves. I love to see them naturalized like that.

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    1. The shepherd's hut is indeed my private space. When my father in law came to live with us a few years ago he had the room which used to be my study and this was our way of giving me a space of my own. I can't say it is used very much as a study but it is a great place to sit and read and we sleep in it quite often just for the love of it!

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  5. Lucky you. Our daffodils are about three weeks out yet here in Wisconsin. I am so ready for them though. I too love your Shepherd's Hut!

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    1. Ours have really only just come out over the weekend after a few days of warmer weather and sunshine. Hope you don't have to wait too long for yours.

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  6. The vast majority of my daffodils (the double ones) have come up blind this year. Which is odd, because the last two years they've done really well. Perhaps they need splitting. But in clay soils that's hard, they sink themselves down so deep.

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    1. Our soil up here is quite stony and free draining and although that means there are a lot of things we can't grow, bulbs are usually quite happy. Not sure how they perform on clay soil. I occasionally get years when there are fewer flowers but haven't had complete blindness. What a pain!

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  7. Lovely photos, Elizabeth. So glad that spring has finally sprung in north Wales. You've reminded me that I must order some Jack Snipe for next year's display. I need to re-establish some Pheasant Eye clumps too - mine seem to have disappeared :(

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    1. Jack Snipe is a really pretty little daffodil and I don't think I have enough of them (as with so much that I like!)

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  8. It felt like the opening chapter of Wind in the Willows reading this post Elizabeth with your industry mixed with so much golden joy. London can't decide how to react now Spring is officially here - bright and chilly, then dull and cold. Off to do some gardening in the hope I can be as invigorated as you p.s. intresting old double daff variety - looks so modern

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    1. I am very taken by the idea of my efforts calling to mind Wind in the Willows Laura!

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  9. Loved the snowdrop post (I wish, I wish, I wish!) I could get some established in my small garden, and this daffodil post is just marvellous. My fondness for these flowers has waned considerably because I often find their bright yellow jarring in urban or suburban surroundings, but when they have room to spread out and have some air and lots of green around them, what a treat! (Thalia's one I've always loved)

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    1. For me only naturalised daffodils really work, and they have to be small and quite delicate, not great hulking things!

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    2. Exactly! I do have some of the little guys in my place although the species tulips seem to naturalize more easily

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  10. I've been catching up with your lovely blog posts and enjoying the photos too. It looks as if we're both away from home quite a lot at the moment so, like you, I'm making the most of the calm in between the storms.

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    1. It's an odd thing being away from home a great deal. I am not sure whether I am most aware of how necessary if is to be away or how much I love being at home.

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  11. Lovely photographs! And I love the shepherds hut, that's a dream of mine. I've been looking at the daffodils too, at home yesterday and at work today. I've finally managed to get out and do some work in both gardens! And I feel much better for it, take care, Jane x

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    1. The shepherd's hut represents freedom and a place of ones own I think. Perhaps it resonates particularly with women.

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  12. Lovely blog, isn't it great to see the next wave of flowers coming out, Daffodils are so cheery and uplifting :)

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    1. I must admit to being a bit fickle. Earlier in the spring I am in thrall to snowdrops and hellebores but about now I love daffodils more than anything!

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  13. Thank you for stopping by on my blog and saying hello! It's always nice to "see" some new faces ;)
    I LOVE your hut too, but more than the hut, I love the idea of having somewhere to escape to/lock myself in/have a snooze or a read without being disturbed..

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    1. It is the time to yourself that the hut represents really isn't it? As you say, the magic is in "without being disturbed".

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  14. what a wonderful selection of daffodils. Lovely to see spring flowers as the weather here turns cooler.

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    1. Of course you are going into autumn now in New Zealand!

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  15. I am torn between pleasure at the sight of all those lovely daffs and chagrin that my failure to plant bulbs last autumn means I have a small scattering myself rather than joyous clumps. The Ten by daff is high on my list to add, as is Thalia. I do hope my Pheasant's Eye make an appearance. Enjoy the rush of energy and attendant flurry of activity!

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    1. I really do recommend the Tenby. It is sturdy, unpretentious, endlessly cheerful!

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  16. Gorgeous daffs! We are still snowbound in Maine and I'm eager for spring. Thanks for sharing yours.

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    1. I get quite desperate for spring. I wonder how I would manage in a climate like yours where winter is really winter and lasts for a lot longer than here!

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  17. The Shephard's hut is such a lovely manageable project and so pretty. I am starting on the big house and garden clear up, but will probably run out of steam before either is anywhere near done. Today is my bedroom and even the windows are shining! I love the rush of Spring energy and how the sun shows exactly what needs doing next. Beautiful daffodils.

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    1. You are right that the scale of the shepherd's hut is pleasing. I have even been thinking of changing its curtains and cushions and having a rush of making for it. That would make a big impact and although it would take time it can't be a major project just because of the size of the hut!

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  18. The Wordsworth daffodils are lovely ... but the Tenby is still my favourite . It always looks so strong and uncomplicated , somehow .

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    1. And it stands up beautifully to the wind! yes, it is lovely.

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  19. I adore your daffodils, I looked at the first photo and thought wonderful, then the second and admired it too, and so on for each of the different daffodils. Your shepherd's hut is a charming getaway place.

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    1. I am a bit like that with my daffodils. To start with I was only going to have Tenby daffodils and then I got seduced into more and more different varieties.

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  20. Your daffodils are so lovely. I love to see them at this time of year. I have lots of tete a tete in my garden and some of the larger varieties at the allotment. I'm not good at remembering names though. I love your shepherd's hut too, it must be great to have your own little space where you can escape to.

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    1. I have some in the cutting garden which are intended to be for the house but in fact there are so many everywhere that you could cut armfuls and I don't think you would be able to tell.

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  21. All beautiful, but I especially like your doubles. And the idea of beatig a few rugs.

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    1. Yes, I love the doubles. They are the only ones I have planted in the side garden right next to the house.

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  22. I am amazed that you know the names of so many daffodils! I am glad to know the name of one that has a perfume. In my morning walks I pass a fragrant clump - now I have a name to take to the nursery next fall. The Shepherd's Hut is such a lovely hidey-hole. I love the idea of blue and yellow!

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    1. "Sweetness" is one of the best of the perfumed ones but "Thalia" has a scent too. They are so undemanding once you have made the first effort of putting the bulbs in. They just keep arriving every spring with very little fuss.

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  23. Absolutely wonderful.. I could live there!!!

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  24. I love your shepherd's hut, I'd love to have such a cosy hidey-hole! You have such beautiful daffodils, the only ones that seem to thrive in my garden are Tete-a-tete.

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  25. Hi Elizabeth,

    spring is always a lovely time to do that very thing - Spring cleaning and love the shepherds hut.
    I love all your pretty daffodils - a sure sign that Spring has arrived.
    Happy weekend
    Carolyn

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