Saturday, 2 January 2010

Not quite fluttering and dancing.......


A friend brings me daffodils when she comes to our New Year's Eve dinner party. Is there anything in this world which signifies Spring more than daffodils? When Shelley wrote," When Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?" romantics siezed on it as an expression of hope. I must say I think that phrase often when there is a blizzard outside.

Today, the flowers which Wendy brought for me, sit on the kitchen window sill and are just beginning to open. Outside, the tete-a-tete daffodils I planted in planters outside both doors and which had poked through their gravel topping and put forth an inch of green shoot before Christmas, are now hidden under six inches of hard snow which covered them a fortnight ago and shows no sign of moving any time soon.

I read somewhere this week that when Britain was at its lowest ebb in 1942; when our soldiers had been forced out at Dunkirk and there seemed to be an imminent threat of invasion; when fuel was in short supply and there was a spell of really wintry weather, Winston Churchill remarked that whatever the situation, in order to keep up morale two things had to be brought into the country at all costs. One of those things was lipstick and the other was the early daffodils imported from our Scilly Isles.

So, while daffodils are not yet in Wordworthian mode, i.e. "fluttering and dancing in the breeze", they are opening their buds on my kitchen window sill, and I say thank goodness for that.

38 comments:

maggi said...

I do so agree with you about daffodils and it never ceases to amaze me how they survive some terrible weather when they are already showing green. Judging by the way the snow is falling here at the moment it will be some time before they show their colours.

Sal said...

I love the Spring flowers. On my kitchen table I have Hyacinths and Crocus coming into bloom...a reminder of what's to come.
Happy New Year to you!
;-)

Heather said...

How clever Winston was - it sounds frivolous to import lipstick and daffodils but possibly boosted morale and did great things for the war effort. I love daffodils too and at the sides of each of the three roads into our little town, the council has planted hundreds of daffodils which brighten up those awful disappointingly grey spring days, and look glorious on the lovely sunny ones.

jinksy said...

How lucky you are. Their scent is such a delight, encompassing as it does the promise of Spring. I'm sure I'm turning Spring Green with envy after reading this post...

Cathy said...

Daffodils and daisies have to be the most cheerful of flowers and I'm looking forward to seeing them again. You have a very sweet friend to bring you such a thoughtful gift.

Crafty Green Poet said...

what lovely daffodils, really brightening up the cold gray winter day!

C Hummel Kornell a/k/a C Hummel Wilson said...

Daffodils are so inspiring! Do you have Crocus in your area? They, too, are spirit lifters. They stick their determined little heads up through the snow offering hope of a coming Spring. I've often wondered how their fragile little blooms withstand the frozen snow. Perhaps these flowers are God's rewards for our making it through another Winter?

Have a great day, Weaver. I love your winter gate scene. In fact, I'm coming down your lane right now with a bag full of cakes for tea. Is the kettle on?

Pondside said...

You're so right about daffodils! Whenever I go to the airport to meet someone from the east during the winter months I bring a bouquet of daffs. They start to bloom here in February, and because we're at a bit of a higher altitude we enjoy the ones lower down for a while, and when they're gone we enjoy our own.

Elizabeth said...

Gosh, haven't even seen them in the florists yet.
Miserably cold here.
Your new header is so beautiful.
Hope your new year is healthy and happy.
Loved the anecdote about Churchill.....

Gramma Ann said...

Oh Weaver, I love daffodils, now I can't wait until Spring again. Our weather here today is frigid cold. -14F. Brrrrr. I am in my reading corner curled up in a nice warm afghan today. I plan on reading a good book. I love to curl up and read on cold winter days, it takes me to another time and place, and I forget about the weather.

Leenie said...

An excellent gift to keep away cabin fever. Love your new header.

MARGARET GOSDEN 2 said...

What a great header - both the greeting and the symbol of the open gate. Love the daffs.

DJ said...

Was it Albert Camus who was quoted as saying..
"In the depths of winter, I found within me there lived an ivincible summer."...?

PurestGreen said...

What a wonderful gift. I think I shall have to buy myself some flowers once I have put the Christmas decorations away. When I was in B.C. I used to keep some saskatoon berries in the freezer and take them out and smell them in the middle of the winter. It was like a hit of summer, even when it was -40C outside.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

By my best calculations…I'd say about 3-1/2 months here to the first daffodil! Somehow, seeing them in a pot doesn't do much for me—it's seeing them nodding in their butter-yellow ranks upon the hill that sings in my heart.

Granny Sue said...

Agreed. Daffodils reassure us that Spring will really come. Sometime soon I will bring in flowering quince (also called japonica) and force it into bloom in vases of water. I love seeing those pale pink blossoms in January.

I brought in a couple pots of begonias before frost and they are continuing to bloom. They keep me connected to the garden during these snowy months. Today it did not get above 20, and tonight is bitterly cold, but my begonias are still in flower. A bit messy, but lovely.

rallentanda said...

What a charming piece of prose.
Loved the reference to Churchill
lipstick and daffodils(worthy of a poem).Thankyou for the inspiration
and Happy New Year!

deb said...

I love that you have daffodils, I have 2 feet (and steadily amassing more), of snow outside my door! Happy New Year...

Pam said...

Ah Winston - I couldn't agree more. The red lippy and bright flowers have lifted my spirits many a time. Wise man.

Elisabeth said...

There you go again, Weaver: you're thinking spring, while we here are thinking: will we last the heat of summer, without too many bush fires before autumn offers us respite?

I love daffodils too, and feel the same in the hard cold of winter here when our daffodil buds first erupt. But our buds never have to compete with snow, or at least not at sea level and in the inner city of Melbourne where I live.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Yes Maggi - although they always say that it is warm for the plants under the snow (relatively speaking!)

The Weaver of Grass said...

Sal - I have hyacinths out - blue and pink ones - I love the smell and they do give one a promise of Spring I agree.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Heather - I think Winston knew his women well - also, I suppose, if they were happy the men would be happy too.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Jinksy - please don't turn Spring green - I like you just the way you are.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you for the comments Cathy and Juliet.

The Weaver of Grass said...

CHK - yes we do have crocus here and they will soon be out. My favoourites are the large purple striped ones which remind me of old fashioned humbug sweets.
Yes the kettle is on and I really look forward to one of those cakes.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Pondside - the same thing happens here with daffodils - we drive down to Ripon (only just over twenty miles) and they are fully out and then, about a month later, we have the pleasure of our own being out too.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you Elizabeth and Gramma Ann - I think we are similar folk - daffodils, a warm fire and a good book (and maybe a slice of cake)

The Weaver of Grass said...

Leenie and Margaret - glad you like the new header - an open gate seems to always make a good photograph I think.

The Weaver of Grass said...

DJ - love that quote. I think some of us are lucky to have that invincible summer inside us - while others seem unable to find it. Maybe it is a question of temperament.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Purest Green - I have no idea what saskatoon berries are like - do tell me please.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Scribe - "butter yellow ranks on the hill" - you have a wonderful way with words - I can see those daffodils clearly in my mind's eye.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Granny Sue - we have japonica here too and it forces very well in a vase in a warm room - as does winter jasmine - both give me a lift in dull weather.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Rallentanda - thanks for visiting, I shall call and see you shortly.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Two feet of snow Deb? Makes our puny five inches seem nothing. Keep warm.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Pam - yes, I feel like that too.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Elizabeth - waft a bit of that summer breeze over here, will you please.

BT said...

What a thoughtful present from your friend. They certainly bring cheer to the kitchen, don't they?