Favourite articles from the bloggers in Italy – March 27th 2011.
On February 11th I posted a Friday Photo of our first Daffodils or Narcissus as I should correctly call them coming in to bloom. Over five weeks later we are still enjoying them thanks to the numerous varieties we have in the garden, which have bloomed one after another and all are still going strong, apart from the original Narcissus. This has been in bloom since before Christmas, so we have been lucky enough to have a touch of gorgeous yellow to enjoy ever since then.
This glorious selection is all thanks to our predecessor, the elderly Italian lady who lived here all her married life, in fact she and her husband built the house themselves in the early 1900’s. Unfortunately I do not know the name of most of the different varieties which is one of the reasons I have taken so many photographs of them this Spring, hopefully when time allows I can spend some time identifying them.
With reference to Wikipedia I found out that all Narcissus species have a central trumpet-, bowl-, or disc-shaped corona surrounded by a ring of six floral leaves called the perianth which is united into a tube at the forward edge of the 3-locular ovary. The seeds are black, round and swollen with hard coat. The three outer segments are sepals, and the three inner segments are petals. Though the traditional daffodil of folklore, poetry, and field may have a yellow to golden-yellow colour all over, both in the wild species and due to breeding, the perianth and corona may be variously coloured. Breeders have developed some daffodils with double, triple, or ambiguously multiple rows and layers of segments, and several wild species also have known double variants.
There are two schools of thought on the origins of the name, one is that of the youth called Narcissus, from Greek mythology who either drowned in the pool he came obsessed with viewing himself in, or eventually died of starvation and thirst beside the pool. Either way the Narcissus plant first grew on the spot where he died. The other possibility for the origin is that the plant is named after its narcotic properties.
Where ever the name originates from for me 'a host of golden daffodils' is always one of the first welcome signs of Spring.
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 leaves in glee;
A poet could not be but 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.
By William Wordsworth.
I am linking this post to Mosaic Monday at Little Red House where you will find lots of other beautiful Mosaics.