Daffodils at Stoneywell
With spring just around the corner it is wonderful to see hundreds of tightly closed pale yellow buds peering through the mass of lush leaves throughout the Stoneywell garden.
Stoneywell has a long relationship with these harbingers of spring with planting first recorded in the early 1900s, with an original 100 or so bulbs on the meadow between the stables and the drive; the species of choice being Emperor and Empress with some Van Sion. The conditions were poor in what was at first very thin grass and so the daffodils were unable to increase vegetatively but - with the grass left until flowering was absolutely completed – Emperor and Empress seeded freely and their progeny now cover the entire bank.
Planting continued in the 1950s and leaving the meadow uncut for much of the summer ensured prime conditions for them to multiply in their thousands to give the spring spectacular we see today.
We have continued to manage the gardens in the same way that the Gimson family did, allowing the grass to grow from the start of the year to the very end of the summer thus allowing the daffodils to flower and seed, and for the seed to develop before any intervention takes place. Whilst the daffodils successfully multiply by themselves we do add some each year by transplanting them from Stoneywell wood, where they don’t belong, back into the garden where they most certainly do!
It’s not the only splash of colour in the garden either, in the 1990’s the Gimson family collected seed from the bluebells in the wood and scattered them in the garden. As a consequence the carpet of yellow daffodils in March is replaced in late spring (usually the end of April and beginning of May) by a carpet of bluebells and this again is a sight, and scent, not to be missed.
With all this temptation of spring colour and variety how can you resist, and with every visit helping to support our work to keep Stoneywell special, make sure you come to Stoneywell soon and see the signs of spring.