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May or Mayn't

While March went out like a lamb and April showed real promise, this May has been more like "Mayn't," what with the cool temperatures and deluge of rain on the East Coast. One little plant is loving it though - the daffodil.


Natives to meadows and woods, the long history of breeding daffodils in Europe has resulted in thousands of different cultivars. From the palest cream to bright yellow and orange, one could create a wonderland with this species alone.


Many poems and quotes tout the daffodil's sunny disposition, and I agree that this bulb is a super powerhouse in the early garden - resisting deer and multiplying every year - it even makes an impressive long-lasting bouquet, helping the impatient flower gardener to weather this month. As you sit back pining for your garden to wake up and come alive, I bid you hear the longing words of William Wordsworth (1770-1850) one of the early English, Romantic poets: "I wandered lonely as a cloud"


Aglow in the morning sunlight, daffodils are just one of the many cultivars of the Genus: Narcissus.

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 waves in glee: A poet could not but be 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.


 





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