Bring on the Trumpets!

It’s not even March, yet clusters of daffodils are already starting to bloom, heralding spring’s approach with their glorious golden fanfare.

daffodils and butterfly

As the national flower of Wales, daffodils are synonymous with St David’s Day, March 1st, when blooms are proudly pinned to the lapels of our Welsh neighbours. But this cheerful flower has had a long and meandering history, and has meant very different things to different cultures along the way.

The daffodil, or narcissus, started its life back in ancient Greece, finding its way into gardens as early as 300 BC. The Greek botanist and philosopher, Theophrastus, listed many early varieties of narcissus in his work, Enquiry into Plants, and there’s also the famous Greek myth which recounts the fate of a young hunter called Narcissus. He fell in love with his own reflection in a pool, so the story goes, and unable to tear himself away from the beauty of the image, he wasted away, until eventually a narcissus grew in his place.

Daffodils are still associated with beauty and admiration, as well as holding a lover in high-regard, and in some Middle Eastern cultures, the flower is believed to be an aphrodisiac. (And, rather less romantically, a cure for baldness!)

daffodils.jpg

The plant has been used to treat all sorts of complaints across the centuries, from strains and painful joints to gout and epilepsy, although I wouldn’t recommend concocting your own home remedies with the plant as parts of it, particularly the bulbs, are poisonous. Which is perhaps why the flower has also had more negative associations. The medieval Europeans, for example, believed that seeing a daffodil droop was an omen of death.

These days, the daffodil is symbolic of spring, with all its connotations of hope and rebirth. It is widely-believed that daffodils are lucky and gifting them is said to ensure happiness, so long as they’re presented in a bunch, for a single bloom brought into the home is thought to presage misfortune.

For me, daffodils embody joy. I really can’t think of a more cheerful flower, and as they begin to adorn the landscape, now is the perfect time to take a deep breath, smile, and usher in the spring which, according to the meteorological calendar at least, arrives this week.

Bring on the trumpets! 🌞

SophieSignature

 

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10 thoughts on “Bring on the Trumpets!

  1. I woke to your gorgeous pics of daffodils that immediately put a smile on my face! The daffodils first appearing in their masses in Spring is one of the things I really miss about living in England. Beautifully written piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Both my first daffodils and paperwhites came from abandoned cut flower fields. When I was a kid, it took me a while to figure out why the big overgrown clumps were in rows. I just mentioned to someone else that I was in Montara for a while, where Diego Rivera painted the harvesting of various cut flowers.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. We do not think of them as Mediterranean. They are though of as French or English. I don’t know why. They are some of the only bulbs that naturalize in our mild climate. They are even more popular farther north of Portland and into Canada.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. That is what I thought. I have other British blogging friends who have featured them on their blogs. We don’t have them here, and I am green with envy. Such beautiful creatures.

        Liked by 1 person

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