Fields of Gold- and White. Taylors Daffodil Day 2019

Today I’m trying to describe the scent from 341 acres of daffodils- that’s about 300 football pitches. I’m almost lost for words. It’s like a tidal wave of “spring.” That scent at dawn on an April morning. Dew on the flowers, and the sun just starting to shine. Bees buzzing all around. And then it hits you. Pure joy!

I am at Taylors’ bulb fields in Lincolnshire for their Daffodil Day to celebrate the company’s centenary. And what a celebration! Daffodils as far as the eye can see. Birds singing, blue skies and a line of trees in the distance. The trees are so far away they look like miniatures. I’ve never seen anything like it. Bands of gold and yellow daffodils ripple in the wind. And wow, is it windy here. I’m holding on to my hat.

Taylors grow around 500 daffodil varieties on their farm at Holbeach near Spalding. It’s a real treat to learn how they are grown, the machinery used, and the processes involved.

Daffodils are planted in August – 850 tonnes of them. Bulbs remain in the ground for two years and are harvested over a six week period in June and July. The daffodil lifting machine digs up about one tonne per minute. Around 2,000 tonnes are harvested annually.

It’s the same machine that’s used for lifting potatoes. Daffodils are taken by trailer to a sorting conveyor belt machine that separates the bulbs from soil and stones.

Bulbs then go to a grading machine that sorts them into sizes. 7-10cm bulbs are kept to replant. Sizes then are separated into 10-12, 12-14, 14-16. The largest will obviously be the premium bulbs that will cost the most, but provide the best flower display.

Here’s John Cubley explaining the grading process. The bulbs pass through a kind of riddle to separate the sizes. John has worked for Taylors for 25 years. In fact, I spoke to three other workers who’ve all been there for at least 25 years. It’s obviously a company that attracts dedicated and loyal staff.

Here’s the grading machine inside the warehouse. Bulbs travel along a conveyor belt to be stored or packed into individual sizes and varieties.

It’s a treat to see any behind-the-scenes production. I’ve now got a better understanding of just what goes into growing and selling the bulbs I buy and plant each year.

These are some of the varieties I picked out as favourites. I particularly love the scented white daffodils and narcissi.

Kimmeridge. Pure white broad petals with a bowl crown of deep orange red.

Tibet. Creamy white, frilled cup, with a green “eye.”

High Society. Pure white with pink-edged centre. Good strong stems.

Pastorale. Pale lime yellow flower. The corona becomes white.

Tranquil Morn. Very pretty rounded pure white perianth. White flat disk, almost geometrically perfect. My favourite.

Pueblo. A jonquil. Multi -headed lemon flowers that become white as they mature. Simply stunning.

I’m looking out for some of the new varieties for 2019: Worcester- a creamy white variety. Pacific Rim- yellow with an orange rim; Arctic Bells- a white hoop petticoat type; Sinopel- unusual white with a green cup.

I came home laden down with catalogues, packets of summer bulbs, Taylors also sell these, dahlias, lilies, gladioli- and bunches of beautiful cut flowers. I’ve no need to travel to Holland. Lincolnshire – and Taylors Bulbs -is the place to see spring flowers in all their glory. And I’ve found the word I was searching for to describe the scent. It’s heavenly!

Links: Taylors Bulbs also home of Walkers Daffodils : http://www.taylors-bulbs.com/

Walkers Bulbs : https://bulbs.co.uk/

34 thoughts on “Fields of Gold- and White. Taylors Daffodil Day 2019

    • Thank you Noelle. I was bowled over by the quality of the bulbs and the caring staff. The fact that so many have worked there virtually all their working lives speaks volumes about the type of business it is. It’s family run and I get the impression it’s a kind and supportive company. That counts a lot in my eyes. Thanks for reading. Karen

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    • I really enjoyed my trip out. I intend to make a few more this year. Haven’t been able to for a few years due to family commitments. But this year, I’m off!

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  1. Karen seems to be with you in that paradise of Narcissus smelling its sublime, heavenly perfume. The sun, the cloudless sky, the buzzing of bees, the singing of birds and thousands and thousands of daffodils like 30 soccer fields with 500 varieties: I love, I love, I love them. I had never thought about the process of growing, collecting and classifying the different varieties of Narcissus bulbs by size, and I would never have imagined it that way, if you do not explain Karen so well and illustrated with photos. The end is the packages of Narcissus that we all buy quietly without having thought about the work they have to do. Grand double Celebration: Day of the Narcissus and the centenary of Taylors Bulbs. Karen the varieties of Narcissus that you have chosen I love. I especially like Tranquil Morn (we have agreed), Pueblo and Pastorale. So Walkers Daffodils is a company of Taylors Bulbs. Karen must have had a great time and enjoyed the day very much: I’m very happy for you. You took from Taylors Bulbs a lot of things, including summer bulbs! I have loved the links, thank you very much. Thank you Karen for the magnificent day with the Daffodils. Love, health and strength for your family and for you. Take care and rest. Loving greetings from Margarita.

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    • Thank you Margarita for your lovely cheerful comments on my photos and story. You have made me smile, as always. You are always so enthusiastic about the places I go and the plants I grow at home here. It’s lovely to have someone sharing my joy. Take care and keep warm. Loving greetings from karen xx

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      • Thanks Karen for your kind words. I say what I see and what I feel when I see your photos and read what you write on your blogs. Also for that we are friends, although my words do not lie for being so. I say the truth, nothing more. If it makes you smile, I’m glad. Greetings and memories of Margarita.

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  2. That is part of the horticultural industries that most do not know about. When we had our Open House events, people were typically surprised by what goes into growing our commodities. They enjoyed the acres of blooming rhododendrons and azaleas, but did not seem to understand that growing them was actually quite a bit of work.

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