Wells Voice Article April 2023

Photo (PH) : The Tenby daffodil


In the late 1950s Scotland were home to Wales in the 5 Nations Rugby Championship. Rugby was a different game in those days. Murrayfield a different stadium. Jane and I went through the turnstile and took our places on the concrete terraces in an atmosphere of the utmost jollity. Appropriately enough, the great Ken Scotland was playing full back for the home team. Pre-match entertainment was mainly provided by the Welsh supporters. Red and white scarves in abundance, as were the leeks. To cheers from all around the ground, stocky Welshmen raced on to the pitch, hacked a hole in the turf, planted a leek and endeavoured to complete the conversion in front of the posts. How we cheered a successful kick. It had to be a leek, daffodils being out of season. Non Hobson assures me that the leek emblem is of an older origin than the daffodil for the Welsh nation. There is some confusion as to why Wales has two national plant symbols. Both leeks and daffodils belong to the Lily family and share the same name:

Welsh: Cenhinen = leek Cenhinen pedr = daffodil. Perhaps the early foliage of both plants led to a confusion. Be that as it may, at our last meeting Chris Sperring spoke enthusiastically about the Tenby daffodil,  Narcissus p. obvallaris which he had planted in verges around his Portishead home. It seems that this subspecies is unique to south Wales and grows in profusion in the Tenby area. Many of us have it thriving in the garden.

To everything, they tell us there's a season. A time for leeks and a time for daffodils, magnolias and cherry blossoms. Definitely out of season are hydrangeas. On the other hand, now is a time to plan ahead and maybe think of those blowsy, sumptuous blooms which carry us right through to winter. Sally Gregson will be our next speaker in April talking with knowledgeable authority on hydrangeas. Sally is a hydrangea enthusiast. In fact she is an enthusiast of pretty well all garden plants. An informative and engaging speaker with a fund of experience, Sally will be warmly welcomed back to Wells Gardening Club on Thursday 13th April at 7.30 pm in Wells Town Hall. There will be refreshments available. Members £1 visitors £3. Open to all, so everyone is welcome.