Daily Prompt: Daffodil Yellow

Daffodils in the garden

Daffodils are basically yellow, although they can also appear in white or orange, but yes, they are yellow, which reminds me of my school days. No, they did not grow at school in the playground, but we were encouraged by the school to grow bulbs for a spring show.

Growing up in London, the only yellow flowers you might see were dandelions, because dandelions grow everywhere, even on the bombed sites left from the war, which were my playgrounds. This was actually the only contact I had with mother nature as a kid. So the educational system in London had a bright idea, let’s encourage our kids to recognise what a daffodil is.

I was then at primary school, and at the age of 10-11 we were eace given one daffodil bulb in Autumn.The intention was that we took them home, planted them in a pot and would look after them until they began to grow and flower. Soon Spring arrived, and if we did everything as we should we would have flowering daffodils. Mum was not really the Capability Brown of the landscape gardeners, and dad even less, but she like a nice flower around the home. We always had geraniums in summer in the window box on the kitchen window sill. I remember once, she was not feeling well, and so she sent dad to the flower market to buy geraniums. Dad did not have a clue what a geranium looked like, so she had to give a full detailed description and we were all surprised when he returned home with geraniums. Mum must have described them correctly.

So back to the yellowness.  Mum planted my bulb in a pot, using the earth from our back yard. Actually it was a wonder than anything grew with that earth, as the main part of it was composed of coal dust, because we had our coal bunker in the back yard.

I suppose I looked after the daffodil bulb now and again and gave it water, but I think mum did most of the gardening work. Spring arrived and a date was set by the school to bring the results of our daffodil bullbs. We kids were now excited and I remember the day when we all carried our pot with the daffodil to school. Our school hall had many empty tables, and the daffodils  were placed on the tables. Naturally we were all given some sort of label where we wrote our name and class. I think it was our teachers that did the judging. They would examine each grown daffodil. Some were quite majestic, and some were just happy to have survived he battle of producing a flower, but for us East End kids in Bethnal Green it was the event of the Spring.

The bulbs were judged and the successful and the best were given a certificate to prove it. The best you could do was a first class certificate. I remember them as if it were yesterday. They had a photo of daffodils, in black an white on them, and the words “1st Class Daffodil” with a signature from the head misstress. There was then visitors day when the parents were all invited to inspect the various daffodils.

Some came up yellow, some were looking as if they really wanted to be yellow and there were those that had only managed a few green leaves. Who cares, it was so long ago, sixty years approximately, but it was my first success, thanks to mum. I think they would have died of thirst were it not for mum’s care.

Daily Prompt: Daffodil Yellow

18 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Daffodil Yellow

  1. Did you ever see that pink flower called Fireweed in London? It’s quite tall and straggly and grows where nothing else will, in cracks in the pavement and on waste ground. I gather it grew on bombsites after the war, hence the nickname Fireweed. Proper name I think may be Rosebay Willowherb.

    I grew a horse-chestnut conker for my Brownie Gardner’s badge. Picked it up in the recreation ground and it grew into a big tree, only to get some nasty tree disease fifty or so years later and big chunks of it blew down in a high wind. Not much left of it now. : )

    Linda (La Tour Abolie)

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    • I know the plant you mean. They grow everywhere, even in Switzerland and spread their seeds by wind. I never knew the name, but they seem to be international.
      I have a chestnut tree in a very large pot in my garden, which I planted from a conker about 12 years ago. It grows every year, and now and again I prune it back, but has never flowered. My gardener told me that often the wild ones do not flower. I got the conker from a tree that grows in my area. I also did all sorts of stuff in the brownies, but never the gardening badge. I remember a thrift badge that I once got, with a bee on itt. Oh they were the days 🙂

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      • They were indeed. I can’t remember getting any other badges, but suppose I must have. On the whole I was a very bad brownie. ‘Twas I who destroyed the red and green papier mache toadstool – the one we all sat around to sing There’s a Long, Long Worm a-winding… etc. I was trying to jump over it. But failed.

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          • Ah ha. I was a seconder first (they must have pursued a policy of promoting troublemakers) in the Gnomes, then a sixer in the Fairies. The guides didn’t want me, which was a relief.

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        • Of course I was a Seconder first of all and then got promoted. I think I was also a gnome and remained a gnome. I remember those sexy dresses we wore. I only had one, so by the time I was leaving it was more a mini. And the beret, that was the dot on the “i”.

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  2. Love your wonderful story. I think your school had the right idea, especially for city-bound kids with no access to nature.

    I drew our wedding invitations. On the front cover is a yellow daffodil. Love these flowers

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    • At that time it was a sort of custom. The London schools were all under the control of the LCC (London County Council) and it was the thing to do. Perhaps the customs still exists, but I do not think so.It was always a daffodil I remember.

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  3. Pingback: Yellow – Daily Prompt – Ladyleemanila

  4. Almost all our spring flowers (except hyacinth and tulips) are yellow. Narcissus, daffodil, day lilies and many wildflowers are in the pale yellow to orange range. I think nature loves yellow. It is the gold of spring and it is delightful to see a reminder of spring to come.

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    • I have also noticed that all the first flowers are yellow in Spring,a bright start to the flower year. This year I will be glad to see some colour in the garden instead of the white landscape of snow, although it is now slowly melting.

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  5. Yellow is my favorite color, always has been. Your post made my mind fly to the Robert Frost poem I memorized so long ago.

    “Nature’s first green is gold,
    Her hardest hue to hold.
    Her early leaf’s a flower;
    But only so an hour.
    Then leaf subsides to leaf.
    So Eden sank to grief,
    So dawn goes down to day.
    Nothing gold can stay.”

    Thank you for the reminder that spring is around the corner.

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