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I’m sure that nothing heralds the coming of Spring more than a beautiful daffodil swaying in the wind and bringing us bright yellow ‘sunshine’ after a long, dark winter. As one of the earliest flowers to come into bloom they are such a wonderful sight.
My painting ‘First Daffodils’ is of a first of the year bunch of early yellow daffodils brought in from the garden - a variety that has a golden yellow halo and an orange cup. I used a contrast of soft blues and violets hues in oil paint to provide complimentary colours to the yellow flowers and enhance the orange centres. ‘First Daffodils’ is available as a print, canvas print and a greetings card.
Every year I make sure to paint the daffodils in my garden and always discover something new. In my village there is a gorgeous display of daffodils which follows a bank and a line of trees - the pretty crowd of flowers seems to grow more abundant and joyful every spring. They remind of me of Wordsworth’s poem.
This famous poem of Wordsworth was inspired by a walk around Glencoyne Bay in Ullswater in the Lake District by Wordsworth accompanied by his sister Dorothy in 1802. They passed by a ‘long belt’ of daffodils and Dorothy wrote in her journal ‘we saw a few daffodils close to the water side, we fancied that the lake had floated the seed ashore and that the little colony had so sprung up - But as we went along there were more and yet more and at last under the boughs of the trees, we saw that there was a long belt of them along the shore, about the breadth of a country turnpike road. I never saw daffodils so beautiful they grew among the mossy stones about & about them…’
The influence of this delightful diary entry can be seen in Wordsworth’s famous poem that he wrote two years later. Here is the lovely poem evoking the wonderful relationship we have with nature and this flower - read it and feel Spring is coming!!
I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o’er vales and hills When all at once I saw a crowd A host, of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees Fluttering and dancing in the breeze
Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the milky way They stretched in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay: Ten thousand saw I at a glance Tossing their heads in sprightly dance
The waves beside them danced; but they Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: A poet could not but be gay, In such a jocund company: I gazed-and gazed - but little thought What wealth the show to me had brought
For oft, when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude: And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils.
In the painting of daffodils called - ‘Spring Daffodils’ the flowers are the iconic yellow trumpet flowers that naturalises in the gardens and hedgerows. I’ve contrasted the daffodils with a small bunch of spikey forsythia, another Spring garden favourite flower. The glow and light of the Daffodils streams everywhere and lights up the room. Two different yellow oil paints were used In this painting - soft and subtle yellow ochre and bright, exotic Indian yellow to capture the pure, dazzling sunshine of daffodils. It is available as a daffodil print, daffodil canvas print and daffodil cards.
The daffodil is the national flower of Wales as it flowers on the feast of St David - the patron Saint of Wales on the first of March
Daffodils are the birthday flowers for March symbolizing creativity and new birth - who do you know with a March birthday?
There are a huge number of varieties - last count - 13000!
Each year’s crop of daffodil bulbs varies due to the weather conditions before and during the harvest of new bulbs
Just a few hundred bulbs planted in the right conditions - daffodils aren’t fussy as long as the soil isn’t too water-logged - can become very quickly thousands
Daffodil is the common name but the botanical name is ‘Narcissus” - other names that belong to the same genus are Jonquil and Paperwhites.
Originally from Greece and Mediterranian countries the daffodil gains its botanical name from the Greek god Narcissus. A very handsome but vain young man, Narcissus was so obsessed and in love with his own reflection in the river that he drowned trying to capture what he saw there in the water. His name was then forever associated with the flower, probably as it grew along river banks and was beautifully reflected in the water.
The daffodil is grown in Wales to produce a medical drug called galantamine which is helpful in treating Alzheimer’s disease
Daffodil bulbs and leaves are toxic if eaten by humans and it’s best to put them in a vase by themselves. Florists soak daffodils in water for at least 24 hours if they want to mix with other flowers
The Daffodil is the tenth wedding anniversary flower because it represents faithfulness, honesty and showing constancy by the way daffodils flower in the same place year after year
My painting 'Happy Flowers’ is a celebration of the joy and happiness that daffodils bring to many people. It is lovely that it is bought as a greetings card, a birthday card, as a congratulations card, a daffodil mothers day card and as a Valentine’s card and it is the beautiful daffodil with its expression of sheer delight that is the reason! The painting is also available as daffodils prints and daffodil canvas.
A new daffodil notebook will soon be available as part of a new collection of journals. The floral notebook ‘Spring Daffodils’ will inspire new beginnings, new plans…What could be better than a daffodil to set the intention for the new year?