"Pay attention to the world." -- Susan Sontag

The Daffodils are Here! (4 of 4)

From “Perhaps You’d Like to Buy a Flower” in The Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson:

Perhaps you’d like to buy a flower?
But I could never sell.
If you would like to borrow
Until the daffodil

Unties her yellow bonnet
Beneath the village door,
Until the bees, from clover rows
Their hock and sherry draw,

Why, I will lend until just then,
But not an hour more!

From Daffodil: The Remarkable Story of the World’s Most Popular Spring Flower by Noel Kingsbury and Jo Whitworth:

“By the late nineteenth century a wildflower became an economic resource, as daffodil flowers could now be sent to local markets. Daffodil production became a by-product of fruit-growing — the grass below the trees would be cut in late summer to make it easier to pick windfalls, which ensured that there would be reduced grass competition when the flowers emerged in spring; they would also be easier to pick. After World War I, Toc H, a Christian service organisation, promoted the picking of daffodils to cheer up hospital patients, and also began to sell daffodils at hospitals to raise money. Commercial picking also took off, especially since flowers were usually available for Mothering Sunday (the fourth Sunday of Lent), traditionally the beginning of the gardening season in Britain.

“During the late nineteenth century and early twentieth, the income from picking daffodils actually became quite important, as it was the only independent income for agricultural labourers in the area, doubly welcome for it being at a time of year when there were few other sources of income. Others joined in too, especially Gypsies and casual workers from the Midlands….

“The flowers became an early tourist attraction, with a special Daffodil Line train running between the villages and the nearby town of Newent.”


This is the last of four posts featuring photos of daffodils from Oakland Cemetery’s Gardens, that I took in February. The previous posts in this series are The Daffodils are Here! (1 of 4); The Daffodils are Here! (2 of 4); and The Daffodils are Here! (3 of 4).

That’s it for the 2023 Daffodil Season!

I may rustle up some of these on black backgrounds, but unless I come across some not-so-far-photographed variations, I think I’ll move on to selections of other spring photos in my backlog: plum, apricot, and cherry blossoms; baby dogwoods (puppywoods?); batches of red, wild, and lady tulips; some early white irises; and a few other species that are so fresh out of the camera I haven’t identified them yet. Spring is very much springing!

Thanks for taking a look!

The Daffodils are Here! (3 of 4)

From “Hymn to Demeter” by Homer, quoted in Flowers and Their Histories by Alice M. Coats:

“The Narcissus wondrously glittering, a noble sight for all, whether immortal gods or mortal men; from whose root a hundred heads spring forth, and at the fragrant odour thereof all the broad heaven above and all the earth laughed, and the salt wave of the sea.”

From “Narcissus” in Flowers and Their Histories by Alice M. Coats:

“The flower thus praised by the ancient Greeks is believed to have been the Tazetta or bunch-flowered narcissus, which, besides being the most widespread of the genus, is also the one longest associated with man. Centuries before even the time of Homer, flowers of this species were used by the Egyptians in their funeral wreaths, and have been found in tombs, still wonderfully preserved after 3000 years. This was the flower, originally white, which was turned yellow by the touch of Pluto when he captured Persephone sleeping with a wreath of them on her hair; a legend which nicely accounts for the fact that there are yellow ‘polyanthus‘ species closely resembling the white ones….

N. poeticus, the poet’s narcissus, was also known to the (slightly less) ancient Greeks, and was probably the flower ‘whose Beauty they deduced in their wild Way, from the Metamorphosis of a celebrated Youth of the same Name’ — a story fabricated by the later poet, Ovid; both species were mentioned by Theophrastus, about 320 B.C….

Pliny says that the plant was named Narcissus because of the narcotic quality of its scent — ‘of Narce which betokeneth nummednesse or dulnesse of sense, and not of the young boy Narcissus, as poets do feign and fable’….

“The Furies wore narcissus flowers among their tangled locks, and are said to have used them to stupefy those whom they intended to punish. Some lingering wraith of this tradition may account for the belief that the scent of the narcissus is harmful, which persisted at least till the nineteenth century; the scent of the jonquil and the tazetta was particularly distrusted, and in close rooms, was considered ‘extremely disagreeable, if not actually injurious, to delicate persons’. It was said to cause headache, or even madness.”


This is the third of four posts featuring photos of daffodils from Oakland Cemetery’s Gardens, that I took in February. The first post in this series is The Daffodils are Here! (1 of 4), and the second post is The Daffodils are Here! (2 of 4). For this post and the last one, I’m uploading photos of those that (mostly) fall into the tazetta or poeticus variations — some of which produce clusters of flowers on a single stem, all of which have white petals and display miniature orange or yellow (or orange AND yellow) “trumpets” at the centers. These are always my favorite daffodil varieties, and I was surprised just two days ago to see that there are still bunches of batches blooming, despite them having gotten off to an early February start.

Thanks for taking a look!

The Daffodils are Here! (2 of 4)

From “The Song of the Happy Shepherd” by W. B. Yeats in Collected Poems:

I must be gone: there is a grave
Where daffodil and lily wave,
And I would please the hapless faun,
Buried under the sleepy ground,
With mirthful songs before the dawn.
His shouting days with mirth were crowned;
And still I dream he treads the lawn,
Walking ghostly in the dew,
Pierced by my glad singing through,
My songs of old earth’s dreamy youth….

From Flowers and Their Histories by Alice M. Coats:

“The numerous wild species of narcissus are mostly centred about the Mediterranean, the great majority being indigenous to the Iberian peninsula, which is regarded as the centre of distribution of the genus. They may be divided for convenience into half a dozen major and some minor sections: the Ajax group, of daffodils with long trumpets; the short-cupped Poeticus group; the bunch-flowered Tazettas; the Incomparabilis, intermediate between Ajax and Poeticus; the Poetaz, between Poeticus and Tazetta; the Jonquils, and the various small rock-garden species such as triandrus and bulbocodium. Double forms occur in all these groups (except, perhaps, the last) and are in many cases of great antiquity….

“Our own wild daffodil or Lent Lily belongs to the first group, and was once so plentiful near London, that in 1581 the market-women of Cheapside were reported to sell the flowers in the greatest abundance, and all the shops were bright with them.”


This is the second of four posts featuring photos of daffodils from Oakland Cemetery’s Gardens, that I took in February. The first post in this series is The Daffodils are Here! (1 of 4).

I first thought that the unusual flowers in the last six images might be a tulip variety — but after some digging around on the internet, I concluded (hopefully accurately) that it was a daffodil known both as Derwydd daffodil or Thomas’ virescent daffodil. This uncommon variant is a form of double daffodil — a daffodil that produces multiple rows of overlapping and clustered flower petals — and often features green, rather than yellow, as a dominant color.

Thanks for taking a look!

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