"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 stretch in never ending line,
Along the margin of the 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 be but gay,
In such 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."
William Wordsworth (1770 - 1850)
These words penned so many years ago by William Wordsworth are known by many around the world, and today as I look out my window I see exactly what he was talking about. It's cool and breezy and the daffodils in my garden are fluttering and dancing in the breeze. Daffodils to me are one of the quintessential harbingers of spring. As the snow recedes and the ground retreats from hibernation, daffodils spring up, their cheery yellow colour brightening our days and reminding us the the fullness of the garden season yet to come. My garden is home to many varities of daffodils from single flowers to double petalled blooms, from delicate dwarfs to giant trumpets, each strikingly beautiful in their own design.
The prophet Isaiah in the Bible trumpeted the glory of God saying, "Let the wilderness and dry lands exult, let the wasteland rejoice and bloom, let it bring forth flowers like the jonquil, let it rejoice and sing for joy." And how true it is, for daffodils do make us feel joyful - that winter is over and spring is here. Their bright sunny colour also makes our hearts sing for their cheerfulness elevates our spirits after the long cold winter.
And so today, my daffodils are "tossing their heads in sprightly dance" and I sit gazing on their stunning beauty for they are the percursor of the beauty that is yet to come. But remember that if you want to be greeted with a "host of golden daffodils" next spring, you'll have to plant bulbs this fall. And with over 8,000 varities to choose from, I would hasten to say there isn't a gardener who couldn't find just one variety to bring a smile to their face.