Not just a daffodil

I’ve wanted to write a blog like since forever and even once had a stab at it but as with many things it didn’t really take off. I kind of knew that whatever I wrote about would have to be about something I really loved or was passionate about so a few things came to my mind: health topics, baking, singing( although that might be a bit hard to do) and gardening. Anyone who knows me pretty well would agree that I love plants and especially flowers of all kinds. Far from you to think I just love them bought from a shop or in a lovely vase , I actually love the digging, the planting, the watering, pruning and everything else that comes with gardening. Although my love for gardening has always been there from a young age helping my mom prune the shrubs at our house , the actual planting or gardening didn’t come till much later on.

Some of my old classmates might remember my balcony at the university flat I shared with friends in a part of Nigeria called Ikenne which happened to be the location for my first failed attempt at keeping plants (that I can recollect). I had two empty paint containers where I planted some shrubs which I stubbornly hoped would thrive and patiently watered but alas they did not survive long at all (I now know why they didn’t survive but that story is for another day).

In fact, I can also recollect buying seeds from the pound shop when on holiday in the UK and planting them back in Africa hoping they would grow but of course that didn’t happen as they were not suited to that climate. I have also since learnt from my Father in Law, a very keen gardner indeed that ‘transferring seeds country to country is actually not allowed’ due to risk of disease spreading .  A very important point of course , which I didn’t know that at the time. A lot has changed since then and I’m pleased to be a bit more knowledgable about plants and actually better at taking care of them.

So this second attempt at blogging is to share some of my experiences so far of gardening and share my garden with you. I’m no expert and confess to be very ‘ungreen’ but I hope you will follow me on this journey and enjoy the pictures I share.

One of my favourite seasons in the UK is spring time. I love seeing new life, the trees bud, the snowdrops, bluebells , crocuses and hyacinths come to flower but my favourite plants during this season are probably daffodils and tulips. Turns out I have at least 4 varieties of daffodils (Narcissus)in my garden. They are some of the easiest flowers to grow from bulbs in late autumn and are quite hardy with little care required for them to survive. This week a television programme highlighted the decline of wild daffodils in the UK as many we see or have in gardens are varieties that have been cultivated for cutting or commercial purposes.

Many of mine are now beginning to fade but I have a few late bloomers so the garden still has colour as its yet too early for my tulips to appear. Many gardeners disagree as to whether to clip or deadhead daffodils after they flower. I tend to dead head them but leave the leaves to get brown before clipping them to allow time for them to build up bulbs for flowers for the next year. I read somewhere it might also be s good time to feed them but I’m no expert and might have got that fact wrong. So next time you see a daffodil just take a minute to appreciate their beauty and resilience.

Rachel McIlvenna
“They spring up like flowers and wither away; like fleeting shadows, they do not endure” Job 14: 2

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