It has to be, really. And at least this year I have the appropriate flowers out in time, and in some quantity (though I’ve only picked 29 so far – many more to be added to the count before May comes round and ‘production’ dribbles away to nothing).
Cennin Pedr – aka Peter’s Leeks:
How did St Peter get in on the act? I’ve been trying to find out. So far I’ve come up with diddley-squat, but I have flushed someone who knows daffodils as cennin aur – golden leeks. In England they’ve also been known as Lent Lillies, Lenten Lillies and Easter Lillies, as well as any number of more local names. I tend to stick with daffs.
I’ve always loved them. I’m not a huge fan of cut flowers, preferring them growing in the garden to dying in a vase (it’s the way I was brought up), but I do try and have a vase of daffs on the go during the season.
Generally I pick the vulnerable ones, the ones which have bent their heads earthwards and which will either be splattered into the ground by rain or eaten by slugs if I don’t get there first. Fortunately I have so many that there is usually no shortage of these, despite dividing and replanting clumps every year.
They’re not quite this lavish yet (I must admit that this is a cheaty shot from last year), but they’ll get there soon. In spite of all the insanity of recent weather – ‘blow winds … blow / You cataracts and hurricanes, spout / Till you have drenched our steeples…’, and they flipping did, garden resembles a blasted heath, kept expecting ex-King Lear and Edgar to come into view for much of February – the prospects look good.
And even the primroses and the chionodoxas and the anemones and the beginnings of the fritillaries (shh, mentioning them might frighten them away) are starting to show themselves in the meadow. But tomorrow, 1 March, belongs to the cennin pedr, the daffodils which will soon turn the top garden yellow and green.
For now and possibly for the next month, the garden belongs to the Big Yellows and the Smaller Doubles. Then the White Trumpets kick in, then the miscellaneous Inherited Unidentifiable Oddballs, and then the Poet’s Eyes will round the season off. I’ve a count of over 1500 to beat. And so it goes on, year after year. Wonderful stuff, gardening!
(And I shall be celebrating Gwyl Dewi Sant by going shopping in Chester. I will, of course, be wearing full national costume and carrying a giant leek, a rugby player, three miners, a bara brith and a small dragon. Not.)