Cold spring leads to delays for daffodil growers

What April looked like in 2011: Johnny Walkers with Paul French, Rosemary Walkers and Sallyanne Foreman.
What April looked like in 2011: Johnny Walkers with Paul French, Rosemary Walkers and Sallyanne Foreman.
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As growers survey acres of land that should be full of blooming daffodils there is one bright note.

The bitterly cold weather has delayed the daffodil season, but will mean that growers will be exhibiting varieties that haven’t been shown at flower shows for a long time.

Johnny Walkers, quality manager and manager of Walkers Bulbs, the mail order division of Taylors Bulbs, is exhibiting at the Spring Flower Show at Springfields in Spalding this weekend and at Harrogate a couple of weeks later.

He said: “It is a difficult season, but then every season is difficult. The outdoor flowers are very late. Daffodils don’t grow in temperatures below 50C and we haven’t had may days of 50, and certainly not at nights.

“They will flower in time and if it came very warm they would go like rockets because they know it’s time to be flowering, but at the moment growth is slow.”

Walkers Bulbs has about 350 acres of daffodils and staff are picking flowers, though Johnny says, “probably not as many as we’d expect”.

The plants are grown for the flowers and the bulbs, and ideally the firm will get the two crops.

Johnny admits he is having a few sleepless nights because of the flower shows on the near horizon, but says: “It is giving us a headache, but it will mean we will be showing varieties that haven’t been shown for a long time, the earlier varieties rather than the late ones.” SG070411-111NG