Daffodils at Cotehele

Mother and child in daffodils at Cotehele, Cornwall

Delight in the variety of daffodils across the estate.

A long flowering season

The daffodils at Cotehele give a real character to the place at this time of year. From mid-February they start to emerge and continue to flower right through into May, with different varieties taking centre stage at different times. 

You'll see the daffodils flowering all over the estate, but particularly across from the Barn Restaurant, in the meadow behind the house and in the old orchard. These areas start to change colour from the silvery/blue of the daffodil foliage to sunny yellows and whites as the flowers start to open. 

Daffodils near the Barn Restaurant at Cotehele
Daffodils growing in front of the house at Cotehele, Cornwall
Daffodils near the Barn Restaurant at Cotehele

Daffodil Festival

This year, we're celebrating a two-week Daffodil Festival from 9-24 March, 2019. During this time there'll be displays of the different varieties which grow here, a Daffodil Discovery trail for families and some wonderful sculptures created by NAFAS groups, which will be on display from the weekend of 16 March. Tamar Valley AONB is decorating the packing shed in the garden and we'll be telling the strory of marketing gardening at Cotehele and in the Tamar Valley here. On the weekend of 16 and 17 March you'll also be able to join a daffodil tour of the garden and find out more about the varieties and where to find them.

Market gardens

The daffodils at Cotehele are mainly old varieties, some dating back to 1620. They were important in the market garden history of the Tamar Valley as a cash crop. Many were picked as surplus produce, which then became an international industry. Growers sent them to flower markets as far as Covent Garden in London. 

In the eighteenth century, a boat similar to the Shamrock on Cotehele Quay was used to take the flowers to Plymouth. By the nineteenth century the railway at Calstock was used. The flowers were sent open not like today, when they are sent in tight buds.