Monday, May 5, 2014

Dances with the Daffodils

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
-William Wordsworth

Daffodils are some of my favorite flowers. For several reasons...

1. I actually know their name.
2. Daffodil is an awesome name.
3. The sight of them makes me smile because they are harbingers of spring. Every year.
4. The booms last forever. In flower lifespan. The ones out my window are two weeks old and still going strong.

I actually like the sight of them so much that I am thinking of planting my own crop for next spring. Here's some tips I've found...

-Select high-quality daffodil bulbs that have not dried out. The larger the bulb, the better.
-Plant bulbs in the fall—about 2 to 4 weeks before the ground freezes.
-Plant bulbs 1-1/2 to 5 times their own depth. Where winters are severe, make sure there is at least 3 inches of soil covering the bulb.
-Daffodils will tolerate some crowding but prefer to be spaced 3 to 6 inches apart.
-Plant bulbs in full sun or part sun. (so not in my front garden)

I enjoyed this poem by William Woodsworth because it was easy to understand and it was light in tone. I like light poetry. And I like poetry where the meaning is not so obtuse you never can tell if you have figured it out. I like the picture of the wealth given by the daffodils to the poet. The wealth of memories that fill the heart with pleasure on pensive and solitary days.

Here's to hoping the daffodils stick around for a couple more days! 

But, if they don't, at least we carry the memory of them in our minds, reminding us of spring's inevitable advent heralded by the daffodils.