The Youngest of the Darling Daughters and I are On A Mission.
It’s not exactly the Moon Landing, you understand, but
in our (smaller) world it is almost as important. Where Neil Armstrong was intent on taking one small step for Man, my daughter and I are similarly intent (albeit earthly-bound) on taking however many steps as required around the eight and a half acres of
beautiful Highdown Gardens in search of the Daffodil Heart.
We first came across it, completely by accident, five long years ago. A perfectly formed heart,
shaped in daffodils, which just happen to be my daughter’s favourite flower. She carried them in her wedding bouquet, they adorned every window in the church where she was married, there were even sugar iced varieties on her wedding cake. Every year,
for many a year, we have paid a visit to Highdown Gardens at daffodil time to witness the spectacular display of the yellow trumpeted ones. They never disappoint.
that visit five years ago, we took photographs of ourselves with the daffodil heart and vowed to return each year to the scene. It never occurred to us that this might be easier said than done…
The following year we returned and traipsed around the gardens, growing increasingly despairing of ever finding our daffodil heart again. Fortunately we came across a gardener whom we approached, timidly, half expecting a
shrug of the shoulders in answer to our question. We certainly weren’t expecting his reaction - the broadest of grins spread over his face as he explained that it was he who had planted the daffodil heart in the first place. Proudly he led us to the
very spot - were we, we wondered to ourselves, the only people who had ever asked the way? Next year, we assured each other, we would know where to look for it….
Except we didn’t. Try as we might, we couldn’t find it. The following year Covid hit and we never got to visit the gardens at daffodil time.
This year, I messaged my daughter, maybe we would find the daffodil heart again. “Best assume not,” she replied - but I was made of sterner stuff. We set off with hope in our (daffodil) hearts.
After a little fruitless ambling, taking photographs of lots and lots of daffodils and other spring flowers, we decided to approach a couple of gardeners who looked as if they knew their way around
the gardens. (It was the wheelbarrow which gave them away.) “This will sound a bit strange…” my daughter started. “You must know Colin!” they exclaimed on hearing of our quest.
Well, not exactly, we explained - but we were pretty sure we knew who Colin was. He was the man we had to thank for planting the daffodil heart which brought us back to Highdown Gardens every year at Daffodil Time. One of
the gardeners led the way through the garden to the performance area where our trail ended. It was like discovering the Daffodil Heart all over again.
the tea room afterwards (where we were joined by Dunk’em Dave, my daughter’s fella) we discussed (over a delicious lunch) how to make sure we never forgot the whereabouts of the daffodil heart. We even retraced our steps, with Dunk’em Dave
in tow, to prove to ourselves that we would know exactly where to find it in future. Time will, undoubtedly, tell…
Back home, my daughter found the blog
I wrote, five years ago, on first discovering the daffodil heart. It was a bit like Groundhog Day - it could almost have been an account of today’s trip to Highdown Gardens. Which only goes to show that my life is on an ever-repeating cycle.
There is, of course, nothing wrong with that. A garden full of spring flowers, the sound of the birds, the flash of a robin’s red breast, the precious company of a
And a man named Colin who planted a daffodil heart all those years ago for us - and doubtless others - to find and delight in each Spring.