Sunday, 6 April 2014

Growing daffodils in the Tamar valley

After a weekend of rain and thick fog remembering the sight and smell of this field of daffodils seen on our recent holiday, brings a bit of colour back into my day!


One of the joys of visiting Devon and Cornwall at the end of the March is to come across fields of daffodils  and primroses growing in the banks of the country lanes.

The sun was so bright it is difficult to see clearly the primroses!

We visitied Cotehele on the banks of the Tamar (The Tamar river provides a natural boundary separating the counties of Devon and Cornwall.It is a beautiful manor house with some parts dating back to Tudor times, and has a wonderful garden that was full of daffodils.


With the milder weather in the South West,  in times gone by this part of the Tamar valley was full of market gardens supplying fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers to London and other parts of England. There are only a few market gardens remaining, but the stories and history behind them are still kept alive at Cotehele.

Picking the daffodils
If you have around ten minutes free, this video from Youtube, of the BBC series the "The Edwardian Farm" shows the daffodils been picked in the fields and sent off by train. It starts at 2 minutes thirty, but the pictures of the introduction are always a delight to see!




Cotehele was holding a daffodil weekend when we visited and they were showing many different varieties of daffodils. There are around 250 different varieties planted in the garden.. The variety Seagull caught my eye it was quite small and delicate - the only bloom is showing above the piece of slate.(Sorry the image isn't very clear.)


The orchards of Cotehele contain many old local apple varieties and were full of daffodils too. The scene looking across the valley to the railway line and river Tamar at Calstock was just magical.


As we drove along the Tamar valley back to our holiday chalet, we came across a "pick your own" daffodil field, as we had already bought some daffodils on sale at Cotehele, we didn't stop but will remember it for future reference. We enjoyed  these lovely flowers all week in our holiday home.


How has your weekend been?
Sarah x

49 comments:

  1. Oh how stunning my friend! I want to thank you for always wisking me away to an enchanted land of history, mystery and intense beauty. I am literally praying, "Oh Lord, bring colour back into my day!" Lovely flowers and fields, Sarah! Anita

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    1. So many beautiful blooms!! It looks totally amazing. xx

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  2. Hello Sarah, What a very lovely video of the Edwardian Time and Market Gardens.. Loved all those tulips. So very pretty indeed. How sad that the trains no longer carry products from the Markets Gardens.. Such lovely photos you shared with us all.. A very glorious Spring Indeed. Hugs Judy

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  3. Just gorgeous! This is such a beautiful place and I would love to see it in person someday. The photos are wonderful. I will have to check out the video later, I'm definitely interested in seeing more. Thank you for sharing.

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  4. I didn't realise there were so many varieties of daffodils!!! amazing. Looks like you really enjoyed your holiday. (just saw in your sidebar your post about Dr. S and the donkey sanctuary....our daughter works for them).

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    1. Amazingly there are thousands of different daffodil varieties! It must be wonderful for your daughter working at the Donkey Sanctuary. Sarah x

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  5. I loved reading this post on a wet Sunday afternoon! We visited Cotehele a few summers ago and loved both the house and the garden. That walk through the woods , down to the Tamar, is a happy memory.

    Fields of daffodils are so bright and cheerful. I love the variety that you had in a blue jug.

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  6. Lovely post for a Sunday morning. What a glorious place. When I lived on the prairies I rarely saw a daffodil, they grow better on the coast. I have planted them all through my orchard but I'm wondering where the tradition of daffodils in the orchard originated. I've also ordered some 'real" English primroses-memories of my childhood.

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  7. Hi Sarah,
    OMG, I thought I have planted much daffodils in our garden last autumn, till if I saw the first picture, it is amazing! I hope you had lovely holidays.
    Bine x

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  8. What a lovely day out, a very interesting place to visit. I love to see different varieties of daffodil so I'd have liked to have wandered in that garden with so many kinds to spot!

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  9. Enchanting photographs Sarah. I like the once of the orchard at Cotehele, with the daffodils underneath. Such a pretty sight.

    I spent Saturday in the garden and had a quiet day at home today. Just reading a book and doing nothing at all :-)

    Wishing you a Happy week!

    madelief x

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  10. Hi Sarah. Lovely post. We brought back a big bag of daffodils from Heligan and whenever they bloom they make me think of Cornwall. A beautiful place.I love yours displayed in the blue jug!

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  11. Oh, brilliant Sarah. Cotehele is one of my favourite places to visit down here. We last went in December, saw the garland in the Great Hall but obviously not the best season for the garden. You've reminded me I resolved to go back!

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  12. wonder if it is only me as a man who bothers to read and comment on this excellent blog Sarah. PS lovely picture of the Tamar valley

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  13. Oh gosh! My most favourite place!! I could move into Cotehele tomorrow!!! You reminded me of happy memories of when my Dad was alive and lived in Tavistock. We used to always have a drive out to Cotehele when I stayed with him. I remember down the very narrow lanes there were always lots of cottages with Rhubarb for sale at their gates at this time of year too!! Dad passed away before Christmas, some years ago now, and that year my Stepmother and I went to Cotehele then to see the 'Christmas decorations' which was a huge swag with everything collected from the garden, it was beautiful, and there was a roaring fire in the Great Hall too!! Happy and sad times remembered, thank you!! X

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    1. This part of Devon and Cornwall are some of our favourite places. We haved stayed on holidays near Tavistock for the past sixteen years so it almost feels like a second home rather than a holiday destination. Lesley posted pictures of the swag here http://lesleyfw.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/cotehele-garland-in-great-hall-2013.html.
      Sarah x

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  14. Oh you dear human being....thank you. All is very well....I am only posting once a month now, but will always be here at the seaside with you and Daisy, always. Anita

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    1. Good to hear all is very well! Sarah x

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  15. Oh Dear!!!
    An ocean filled with daffidols - that's a dream. What beautiful pictures you share with us. Thank you
    All the best from Austria
    Elisabeth

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  16. Cotehele looks beautiful, it's somewhere I'd love to visit. I like to think about the wonderful market gardens in days gone by and their fantastic produce. Such a shame there aren't many left, I do wish more food was grown like this. So glad you had such a good trip.

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  17. We just had a lovely time seeing the Edwardian Times episode 7! Thank you so much for sharing, it meant a lot to ex-RAF flyboy (his souvenirs includes hops picking, featured as family holiday for his in the Midlands)
    All the best,

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  18. Hi, this weekend we drove back from the Cotswolds to Germany and we had a wonderful time there. Good weather and a little space for my new plants in the car.
    Thank you for the photos from Cothele, as we where there it was so full (easter years ago) that I said: Wo go home, to much for me. We will come again.

    Sigrun

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  19. What a lovely place and going when all the daffodils were blooming - just perfect - I remember when I was younger reading Derek Tangye's books all about Cornwall and daffodil growing - this post says it all - lovely lovely pictures. Have a good week

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    1. I loved Derek Tangye books too, we walked along the coast path a few years ago and vised the piece of land they left in Trust for the wild animals they so loved. It was so special to stand there and recall some of those wonderful stories. Sarah x

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  20. Daffodils are wonderful this year - or should I say 'were'. In East Sussex ours have all faded due to the sunny mild weather. We usually go down to stay with friends near Lands End in March - the fileds of daffs are one of the things that tell us we have arrived in Cornwall!

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  21. Hello Sarah:

    How lovely this post is, full of all the promise of spring. And what a wonderful time of year to visit Devon and Cornwall which really are two of the loveliest of counties. For some reason daffodils are not so readily available here; we miss having them in vases about the house.

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  22. It was lovely seeing Cotehele again, I visited about three or four years ago and loved it there. We went in May. The Cornish fields full of daffodils are beautiful, but I was amazed to be told when we stayed there that flowers were being left to die, because the harvest was actually the bulbs and these were going to be sent to Holland.

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    1. There were some fields with daffodils full in flower like above and other fields with daffodils in bud. I assumed that they must be growing those above for bulbs but didn't realise they will sending them to Holland. I imagine some of the bulbs appear back in our shops in the UK in the autumn! Sarah x

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  23. Beautiful photos of a beautiful place, thanks for sharing. I can almost smell those daffodils - they are stunning.

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  24. Hey Sarah,

    I love the swathes of Daffs in the fields around here at the moment. Such glorious colour in what has been the most miserable weekend weather wise.
    Leanne xx

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  25. Love your photos. Living as I do no the shores of Lake Michigan in USA, I am always interested in seeing water and oceans from other areas. Something about being near water that is so meditative. Thanks for the posting. How do I get to"follow" you on my blog list? JC

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    1. Please join this site on the side bar on the left. Sarah x

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  26. Oh Sarah, these pictures you have kindly shared with us are so, so beautiful. My favourite is the apple orchard; quite enchanting.

    I wish you a very happy week.

    Stephanie

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  27. Pure sunshine! Nothing says spring like cheerful daffies :) The more, the better! Thanks for sharing these lovely photos, Sarah.
    Cheers from DC,
    Loi

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  28. Hi Sarah,

    How really beautiful the field of daffodils amongst the old apple orchard and I enjoyed seeing your lovely photos.
    Cothele looks like a wonderful town.
    We really enjoyed the series of 'The Edwardian Farm'

    Happy new week
    hugs
    Carolyn

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  29. So many lovely photos, I love the look of all those daffodils.

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  30. So beautiful, I do love daffodils, they look gorgeous in your little blue jug too.

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  31. gorgeous spot & post!
    I had no idea there were so many varieties of daffodils.
    love the Edwardian farm series.

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  32. The daffodils are so pretty! We have a couple of daffodil fields near us, but they are missing the character of yours, set so nicely in the English countryside.

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  33. That field of daffs is amazing. I have to say that, since we moved down here 12 years ago, I have never experience so much cold weather in my life! Mild indeed....xx

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  34. That's the area where I grew up. These photos were a great 'trip' for me. Thank you

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    1. It must have be a wonderful area to grow up in, I'm glad the pictures took you back. Sarah x

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  35. These are lovely pictures per usual Sarah! Daffodils are such a bright and cheery flower.

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  36. I want to shout out, stop, stop, stop so that I can enjoy all the spring flowers at my leisure, they are flowering and passing so quickly. I have been taking a hard look at my daffodils and am surprised at how many different varieties we have, but the names elude me.
    What a lovely scene it is looking across the valley to the railway line and the River Tamar at Calstock.

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    1. I agree after a long wait through winter everything is going over so quickly! Sarah x

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  37. Thank you for doing another post about daffodils! Ours are finally beginning to bloom but I do not know of anywhere nearby that has such a full landscape of them. I'm glad to be reminded about the Edwardian Farm series. I watched the Victorian Farm series last year and meant to go on with the Edwardian one and forgot about it. I will be sure not to forget this time. Such a great series!

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  38. Fields of daffodils look wonderful - hard work harvesting by hand though !

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  39. Every single time I read one of your posts, I am wishing for an English vacation.

    If you were in California right now, it wouldn't be daffodils in the hundreds, but California poppies. Driving through the desert to get to our favorite ski resort is one of the most tedious drives, but in springtime, the sea of gold provides a beautiful vista.

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  40. We visited Cotehele 2 maybe 3 years ago and loved it, it must be beautiful at this time of the year.

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