The Daffodil, the flower of Easter
Some days ago a dear friend of mine asked me why Easter is always associated with the color yellow. “well because of the Daffodil of course’ was my first response. But to be honest I also did not know so I decided to ask Google for help. Where else can you find random knowledge and wisdom such as ‘why yellow and Easter are inseparable’ than the worldwide web. Probably a lot of it is not even true. “it is a festival of light, and lights are yellow’ is what I found often, but this cannot be true as Christmas already the festival of light. Another explanation is the sun, which could be it but I am not convinced yet. No, I think it is really because of the Daffodil. Because where there are festivities, there are flowers; and the Daffodil – often yellow – is the flower that is blooming during Easter. I happened to come across an old and wise retired flower man who had the answers to my questions: ‘new life’ was his short response. Eggs, or at least the yolk, spring, and the Daffodil as symbol of spring. All right, all right, a festival of new life with an underlying story of a charitable man that would not hurt a fly being crucified – it does not make sense. He smiled and answered that yes it is not really on its ‘Sunday best’ but other than that it is a wonderful holiday.
And of course it is, Easter is a holiday, and holidays always go with flowers… The Daffodil. This is why the color yellow goes with Easter, because of the Daffodil. Now we do not need to think about that anymore.
But last week I started the newsletter with a story of horses just for show and horses just for work. What I wanted to show you is that in some countries a whole world of Daffodil enthusiasts is out there that are all trying to breed or hybridize the most beautiful Daffodil. I will show you:
This is the Daffodil moschatus. This is what the most common white Daffodil in nature looks like, this is how Mother Nature wanted it for the Spanish mountain landscape.
Then this is the Daffodil “I Love You’ and she demonstrates how a Daffodil looks like after approximately one hundred years of hybridizing. By chance this is a Daffodil out of our own collection, but with Daffodils like this one with such petal shapes, you can win prices on Daffodil conventions.
Important to mention is that these Daffodil enthusiasts and Daffodil conventions are almost exclusively only to be found in English speaking countries. This is the convention of the American Daffodil Society in Dallas in 2019. I will show you another photo:
An overview of the same convention in Dallas. The prettier and perfecter the flower, the bigger the chance for a “Blue Ribbon’ and the eternal fame that comes with winning such a price with a Daffodil.
All good and well, but with the saying “there are horses just for show and there are horses just for work’ my father was talking about these Daffodils. People that hybridize just for show do not consider the vigor or health of a Daffodil. They also do not seem to check whether a Daffodil can resist the unstable weather of spring or if the Daffodil looks nice when planted as a little group in the garden. The most important criteria for this Daffodil enthusiast is the shape of the flower.
Daffodil Watch Up
A world of difference with Dutch hybridizers. For them, the shape of the flower is way less important. The Dutchman will go for a nice color, flowers above the leaves, and preferably a flower that looks up a little. When the perianth is curved a little, and the trumpet ruffles a bit, and people found at Daffodil conventions are gasping in horror, than the Dutchman is happy.
Despite the fact that these Daffodil enthusiasts only create Daffodils that are useless 99 out of 100 times for the average gardener, they are great people with whom you can have some very nice conversations about Daffodils. It is amazing to visit such a convention; snacks, drinks, activities, and Daffodil dialogue.
What I also wanted to show you is one of the Daffodils that I demonstrated in a newsletter a few weeks ago.
This is how the poor sabs were looking two weeks ago. After the snow disappeared, the weather was unbearable for at least ten days after, with strong winds, rain and hailstorms.
But now, after three weeks they are back at enjoying life, admiring their own reflection in the water. Beautiful, right?
I am not sure if I have time to write a newsletter next week, so maybe I will skip a week. The weather is getting better though, and you will have the chance to enjoy your garden. It would be great if you can find something nice in the Fluwel web shop to grow in there.
With kind regards,
Carlos van der Veek