Where have all the daffodils gone?
Kate ScotterWith the sun shining and the mercury rising, it feels as though spring is finally in the air. But there is a notable difference this year with the absence of the golden daffodils.Kate Scotter
With the sun shining and the mercury rising, it feels as though spring is finally in the air. But there is a notable difference this year with the absence of the golden daffodils.
What has been described as the coldest winter for 30 years has taken its toll on the cheerful flowers, which usually herald the start of spring.
It is believed they have been delayed by at least three weeks because of the bracing weather which gripped the country over the past few months.
But with the spring equinox this weekend, it is hoped that it will not be long before a burst of yellow appears.
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Richard Kemp, gardener at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden in South Walsham, said: 'Compared with what has become the norm in the past several years, they are very late.
'We haven't had a single bloom in daffodils at the moment and when they do come they are going to be shorter stemmed.
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'We have had a 'proper' winter, like what we used to get, and the cold and damp whether has put all the spring flowers back - the snowdrops were later and the daffodils are going to be late.'
The UK produces half the world's daffodil bulbs, exporting 10,000 tons a year.
The late spring has delayed the daffodil harvest at the Stody estate in North Norfolk, when typically about nine million flowers would be picked.
Estate manager Ross Haddow said: 'When it warms up, we'll find that everything comes together and all of our daffodils will flower at the same time. We'll have some really pretty fields in North Norfolk.'
But it looks as though the late arrival of the daffodils will not affect the annual Daffodil Day held at Langley Park, near Loddon, on March 28.
Dominic Findlay, headmaster of Langley School, said: 'The daffodils are much later this year, but we are delighted that the adverse weather doesn't seem to have done any real damage, so we are confident they will be as wonderful as they always are.
'They are really starting to come through now and we are expecting some to be on display for Daffodil Day.'
Britain's biggest daffodil festival in Thriplow, Herts, has been hit by the late arrival of spring. For the first time since it began in 1969 the bulbs are up but there are no yellow blooms so far with the show starting on Saturday.
And in the Lake District, where poet William Wordsworth immortalised the flower with his poem 'Daffodils', the local tourism board has launched a Daffs Watch Appeal to encourage people to look out for the yellow perennials, which usually flower in February.
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WHERE TO SEE DAFFODILS
t Langley Park, near Loddon, Daffodil Day on March 28.
t A daffodil walk in aid of Waveney Responders will be held in Brockdish, near Diss, on April 12 and 13.
t Massed displays at National Trust properties Blickling Hall and Oxburgh Hall.
t Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden in South Walsham
t Hoveton Hall Gardens, Hoveton: Daffodil Sunday - March 21 and 28