Monday, 12 April 2010

Magnificent obsession

A couple of days ago one of my neighbours said that the Daffodil Lane should be at its best this week. Poor Moose has had to put up with runs lately because I am still training for the Race for Life. He doesn't complain, but it doesn't give him a lot of time for mooching and sniffing while we are out. So I decided he deserved a good, long, slow walk today, and we set off down the hill to the start of the lane.

It looks promising, even if the sheep don't appear very interested.

Round the corner. Yep, the daffodils are definitely out.

Up the hill a bit, and they are starting to come thick and fast.

We had to stop here for a little while as Moose found something very interesting to sniff...

... then it was off down the hill, past the entrance to my friend Pip's farm. No let-up on the daffodil front though.

The daffodils were planted - every single bulb - by an old boy by the name of Maldwyn. A life-long bachelor, he lives with his brother and sister just off this lane where they have a small farm. The daffodil planting started some time after he retired from the Council's Parks and Gardens department - I think he must be in his early 80s now. When I asked him about it, he said he started at the end of their track and got a bit carried away - and just forgot to stop!

A few years ago, the village built this seat for him at the prettiest spot on the lane.
It looks over the weir.

R used to love this spot too. We often brought friends down here to stop a while by the river and give any dogs with us a chance to splash in the water on a hot day.

Moose was a little disappointed that I wasn't going to stop and throw sticks in the water, but it was soon forgotten as we started going up again.

There is a whole army of daffodils along this stretch. A positive host, if ever I saw one.
"I'd better check the other side of the road," says Moose.

And if you look very carefully, there are a few other little goodies that Maldwyn tucked in here and there when he had a few leftover plants.
Here is a little patch of pulmonaria peeping out from between the daffs.

Oh look! Some more daffodils.
You can spot his progress along the lane as one variety takes over from another. I cannot imagine how long it took him to do this.
The Autumn after R died, I planted a whole sack of bulbs in his memory. It took ages, even while I was at my most manic. But this stretch of road must hold a truckload of the things. It is unimaginable to me how anyone could keep going at the task.

There isn't a lot of space available for planting beneath the hedges here, but even so he has managed to tuck some into the poor soil.

Looks as though we are coming to the end...

... then a final flourish as we reach the village sign.

Maldwyn is a kind, gentle and modest man. But he has certainly made his mark on this little patch of Wales. I hope he will be with us for many years to come, but when he does go on to his reward, what a legacy he will leave behind him.


  1. Anonymous17:44

    This is beautiful. We're still waiting for our first daffs here - still in the crocus/snowdrops peeking out from under the snow phase. Imagine how different the world would be with a few more Maldwyns? A beautiful place to walk is one of the great treasures in life, I think. And what a great name for your dog!

  2. "Imagine how different the world would be with a few more Maldwyns?"

    Absolutely. Make gardens, not war!
    I don't envy you your long winter, though. I guess you must get used to it, but I was more than ready to say goodbye to the snow a couple of months ago.

  3. Anonymous11:14

    Funnily enough I heard the term, "Guerilla Gardening" recently and this just what Maldwyn was doing before it had a name!
    Just fantastic and they'll multiply and give joy to so many.

    coffeee/Sue @DTE