These are not the daffodils we planted in the autumn of 2017; these are a rapidly spreading clump at the bottom of Kestrel Field on the edge of the copse.
The thousand bulbs of native Narcissus pseudonarcissus that we planted around the edges of Village Green in the autumn of 2017, flower much later than this. Last year, perhaps because of the cold spring, they did not flower until the end of March.
These early flowering specimens must have arrived here by themselves some time ago, perhaps as seed in the winter coat of a fox or carried in by the wind or birds. They are now well-established plants, spreading vigorously into the copse.
Daffodils reproduce in three different ways. They can make seed; the bulb, when it matures, can grow new bulbs around its base; the underground part of the plant’s stem can develop tiny bulbils.
It takes a long time, sometimes more than five years, for a daffodil grown from seed to reach the point of flowering. It is more likely, here, that the new bulbs and little bulbils are being spread into the copse by all kinds of disturbance around the mature plants: a badger digging for roots, squirrels burying acorns, deer or dogs running through the trees, any number of mice and voles tunnelling.
Whatever the cause, let’s hope it continues until the copse is filled with early daffodils.
More about our native daffs: