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China Girl blog 5th April 2018

Easter has come early this year, falling on April 1st, the day we open. It might have been February; so cold and wet, hardly a flower to be seen save daffodils. Ma loves the small wild ones with their dainty charm, their golden petals glinting in the passing sunshine.

Daffodils, or to give them their botanical name Narcissus, are native of Europe and have been bred for many years, producing the many forms we see today. Like Ma, I prefer the small forms which have been bred to produce their showy cousins which dominate our English gardens. There is none more charming than our small native Narcissus pseudo-Narcissus. An extremely variable species, which is scented and bright yellow with a pale yellow corona; its dainty charm brightens the cold, wet days. A deep, rather stiff soil suits most of the larger Narcissus best, though most will grow in any soil in sun or light shade. They are best left for three years undisturbed, by which time they have usually become overcrowded. One of the prevalent mistakes is to lift before the foliage has died down, in about 6 weeks. The proper development of the bulb depends on healthy foliage. They are best planted in late July or during August and early September.

Team Cothay has worked so hard to get everything in the garden up to scratch. At this time of year, you can see the lovely structure of the garden; the line of the yew hedges with their tall pillars silhouetted against the sky, marching like sentinels through the garden.

The making of a garden is not free of worldly cares; there is always much trial and error in their endorsement. The bringing of life to this sleeping beauty goes on, and is a lifetime endeavour.