March 1st, 2018
Welcome to spring! March is the month when the frosts thaw, the sun hopes to shine and flowers shyly start to reveal their beautiful colours to a long awaited audience. The signs of the first snow drops lift tired winter spirits and cheery daffodils make the whole of Wales smile. If you were born in March, then you are lucky to have this very happy, bright spring flowers as your birth month flower.
The daffodil, or the Narcissus to use its proper name, is commonly found all over the world. In Europe it is most known as being the Welsh national symbol, and so is abundant on Wales’ national day (St David’s Day) on the 1st March. In Welsh, the daffodil is called Cenin Pedr and there is a unique variety of daffodils that are grown only around the Welsh seaside town of Tenby.
The happy little flowers are most commonly white or different shades of yellow, although some varieties have deep red cups or bright orange edges to the petals. Daffodils are associated with Easter and with the beginning of spring, and they have inspired numerous poets from Wordsworth to Cummings. In China, the daffodil is the symbol of good fortune and wealth. This is why you’ll see daffodil flowers everywhere at Chinese New Year celebrations.
It is thought that the name Narcissus derives from Greek mythology. In ancient Greece, a youth of the same name was so vain and self obsessed that he starved to death as he stared at his reflection in a pond for so long. The gods then turned his remains into the Narcissus flower. It could also be derived from the fact that the plant has narcotic, or numbing properties.
Jonquil is another name for a daffodil, but is mainly used in North America. Originally, the word Jonquil was used to describe a vivid yellow colour, so it’s not difficult to see why the two are now linked! The town of Nantucket in Massachusetts is home to the Daffodil Festival at the end of every April where hundreds of vintage cars are decorated with thousands of daffodil flowers and paraded through the town.
Daffodils may look very pretty, but not on your dinner plate! The bulbs are highly toxic, and can also cause skin rashes and itches if handled excessively.
So leave them in the vase, welcome spring into your home, and let these beautiful spring flowers be a bright burst of happy sunshine, even if the real sunshine hasn’t quite caught up yet!!